Buying school essentials

(NC) Back-to-school season can get expensive with school supplies, clothes and the latest gadgets on the shopping list. To save and get the best value for your money, check out these tips for each major category:

Office supplies. This is one area where it makes more sense to save than splurge. Things like pens, erasers and markers can easily get lost or borrowed and never returned, so it doesn’t make sense to shell out extra for them. Basics like these are best bought in bulk at a deep discount or at the dollar store. If your children want something with their favourite characters on it that also comes with a steep markup, try a DIY craft project together, like decorating a binder with stickers of the characters instead.

Technology. For laptops and tablets, you’ll find the best deals if you wait until late September and October, when retailers are clearing their stock after the back-to-school rush. When it comes to smartphones, you want something that has all the bells and whistles your kids want while still being reasonably priced. Great for teens and new cellphone users, some mobile phones take amazing selfies, have a long battery life and come at prices that are affordable.

Clothing. Don’t think you need an autumn wardrobe for the kids right away. Summer usually lasts into late September, which is perfect since fall clothes tend to go on sale in October, right before holiday inventory hits shelves. Until then, layering is your best friend, extending spring and summer clothes into the season until the big chill begins. Before then, keep a lookout for back-to-school flyers and email promotions from your favourite stores.


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