Texas Living

Save on Back-to-School Shopping

By Jennifer Chappell Smith 8.4.15

From backpacks to school supplies, not to mention clothes, back-to-school spending can escalate as fast as your tween or teen can talk trends.

In 2014, parents spent an average of $580.94 on each elementary-age child and about $682 per middle school and high school student in preparation for the new school year, reports the National Retail Federation.

Though the cost of back-to-school basics adds up, savvy shoppers can save money and still buy the items their children need. These five money-saving strategies pass the test when it comes to back-to-school budgeting.

1. Take advantage of the tax-free weekend. From Aug. 7 ­to 9, Texans can avoid sales tax on school-related items that cost less than $100 each. Learn more at the Texas Window on State Government.

2. Watch for coupons, especially on social media and via enewsletters from favorite stores. The back-to-school season means scads of savings at retail outlets catering to kids. www.MoneyCrashers.com offers this list of major store Twitter handles for savvy savers:

3. Consider consignment stores as your new besties. Research kids’ consignment shops in your town or the nearest urban area. You’ll save loads of money on staples such as khakis, jeans, and other everyday items kids quickly outgrow.

4. Scour your house for school supplies before you shop. Don’t buy what you already have stashed in drawers at home.

5. Dig dollar store finds. For pens, pencils, staples, and more, see how much of your school-supply list you can knock out at these retail havens.