Save Money on Your School Shopping

You might be surprised to know it, but all those clothes, backpacks, lunch boxes, and classroom supplies you've purchased throughout your life have helped make "Back-to- School" the second-biggest shopping season of the year!

In 2018, the average American household spent more than $500 on back-to-school purchases. That's second only to the holiday season spending that occurs from late November through December.

This year, save money on your back-to-school shopping by following these five savings tips:

  1. Gather inventory – Check at home for pens, notebooks, calculators, and other school supplies that could be used. You can also go through drawers and closets to see if clothes can be used for another season, or are ready to be handed down to someone else who could use them.

  2. Time your purchases well – Get your shopping done early, or wait until late-September when the rush is over and stores are offering discounts. Two-thirds of back-to-school clothing purchases are made during the peak period of late July through early August, which is when clothes are most expensive.

  3. Watch for discounts online – Follow your favorite stores and sign up to be notified of discounts and promotions.

  4. Shop second-hand or trade with friends – Many parents turn to consignment stores when they're ready to part with things their children have outgrown. They're a great way to find something that’s gently used. You can also join a social media circle to exchange clothes, toys, and books with friends and family.

  5. Spend smart – Some things you'll have to buy outright. For those purchases, use a Direct Financial debit card or low-cost VISA® Explorer or VISA® Explorer Rewards card.