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5 Savvy Spending Tips for Back-to-School Season

08/18/2015 08:08 EDT | Updated 08/18/2016 05:59 EDT
Images By Tang Ming Tung via Getty Images
Pretty young mom fitting a shirt on the cheerful little girl at the kid's wear department in a fashion boutique

If you're anything like me, when you hear "back-to-school" you also hear "back-to-spending!" It's time to bust open those piggy banks. According to a recent survey from digital offers site RetailMeNot.ca, Canadians are feeling the penny pinch. In fact, a whopping 43 per cent of Canadian parents view back-to-school as a financial burden on their families. To help ease the pain class is in session and with a little savvy spending from my top five tips, your dollar will be stretching further this season!

1. Hold Off On Trendier Gear

Thirty-four per cent of Canadian parents feel the pressure to purchase trendy items to help their child fit in at school. The problem is, trends come and go - and often very quickly! Kids may love a certain lunch box or pencil case they find in August, but once school starts and they see that their friends are all using another kind they'll beg you to upgrade. Hold off on the more trendy purchases until school starts rather than spending double... it will pay to wait!

2. Cheapest Isn't Always Best

When it comes to items your kids will use all year round, like backpacks, it pays to invest in quality. Think about price for longevity and factor that into your cost comparison. However, don't forget that you can still find a great deal on a high quality backpack for about $40, especially if you stack your savings. Doing a quick search on sites like RetailMeNot.ca will help you find promo codes for some of your favourite retailers and brands, saving you a few dollars on that backpack.

3. Go For Reusable Lunch Supplies

Don't waste money on plastic utensils and paper napkins that get thrown out after only one use. If you throw away bags and bottles, you're basically throwing your money in the garbage. Instead, use cloth napkins, real flatware and reusable containers for food and snacks. It pays to invest in products like LunchSkins which are BPA- and phthalate-free reusable snack and sandwich bags that can go in the dishwasher. It's a small investment, but they last forever.

4. Deals Aren't Just For the Kids

Despite 43 per cent Canadians feeling back-to-school can be a financial burden, the shopping season can also bring a ton of sales! While you're stocking your kids up for the school year, don't forget to take advantage of the lowest prices of the year on computers and other office equipment. If you're in the market, now is the time to save on that new laptop you've been eyeing from top retailers like Best Buy.

5. Share Your Shopping

Forty-four per cent of Canadian parents agree back-to-school shopping is stressful, so why not share the stress and costs? You can save money by buying school supplies in bulk especially if you split the cost with another parent. Compare shopping lists with friends and neighbours to see what you both need. By buying in bulk at stores like Costco and splitting the cost, you can save money for the more expensive items.

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