ACCPros Releases "Top Ten Tips for Back-to-School Shopping"

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With the new school year almost here, the Association of Credit Counseling Professionals would like to help families save on their back-to-school shopping.

"Think outside the box when it comes to purchasing school supplies"

With the new school year almost here, the Association of Credit Counseling Professionals would like to share its top ten tips for back-to-school shopping.

  •     Set a budget, and stick to it! When your children understand there is a finite amount of money dedicated to back-to-school shopping, they'll learn to be more thoughtful about how those dollars are spent.
  •     If your child's teacher or school sent home a supply list, stick to it.
  •     Go through last year’s clothes to see what fits your child and what doesn’t. Can you get away with simply buying a few new shirts/tops/sweaters, or will you need to buy entire outfits? Along the same line of thought, is last year’s back pack really last year’s back pack?
  •     Always look for sales and specials, but don’t spend so much time driving from store to store that your savings are cancelled out by the amount you're spending on gas.
  •     When clothes shopping, Goodwill and other neighborhood thrift and second-hand stores often provide great value. One person’s castoff is another’s gold.
  •     Use coupons, store reward cards or “price match guarantees” when possible, but don't sign up for a store credit card just to get a discount on that day's purchases. Opening a new line of credit should be done as part of an overall strategy, not at the suggestion of a store clerk.
  •     Did you miss the back to school sale? Be patient; you just might find a better bargain purchasing items still on the rack after the school year starts.
  •     Host a “back to school swap.” Invite some moms from the neighborhood who have the same gender children as yours (but perhaps of different ages). Instead of donating or discarding clothing, books and toys your children have outgrown, see what you can swap.
  •     When food shopping for your child’s lunch, keep an eye out for supermarket specials. Food allergies and strong preferences aside, if turkey is on sale one week, and ham is on sale the other….buy what’s on sale! You may also find store brands to be less expensive than name-brand food products. You will even find that often the quality is the same, if not better.
  •     Think outside the box when it comes to purchasing school supplies. Dollar stores can be a good source of supplies, as can membership and warehouse stores, especially if you have more than one child, or if you can shop with another family.
  •     Bonus tip: Take advantage of shopping during state tax holidays. (http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/sales_holiday.html)

As you’re looking at ways to save money, you may also want to think about ways to raise money. Look through the articles of clothing your child has outgrown; can any of those items be placed on Craig’s List? While you’re at it, what other items do you have hanging around the house that you could sell online? Makes you think, doesn’t it?

We strongly urge you to keep in mind it’s never too early to work up a budget for the next school year. If at any time you feel your bills are mounting, and you need help getting your spending under control, reach out to an Association of Credit Counseling Professionals (ACCPros) member agency.

The ACCPros is a 501(c)(6) trade association representing non-profit and for-profit credit counseling agencies. Our member agencies provide financial counseling and education to individuals in financial distress. ACCPros members counsel hundreds of thousands of clients who are in financial hardship each year.

To find a counselor who meets our strict ACCPros standards and is able to offer counseling in your area, call the ACCPros Locator Line: 1-800-635-0553

ACCPros - Where Consumers, Compliance and Collaboration Matter

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Lori Pollack, Managing Director
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