It’s that exciting, yet dreaded time of year – back to school! Kids are groaning while parents celebrate being able to ship their children off to school instead of paying for expensive childcare.
But what about the rest of us – adults without children? This time of year doesn’t affect us much, as the back-to-school sales are generally directed at young ones. Or are they?
I say that even if you don’t have children, you can still benefit from these sales. Here are some back-to-school shopping tips that have helped me to save money in the past:
1. Stock Up on Office Supplies
One of the easiest back-to-school shopping tips is to stock up on office supplies.
As a work-from-home entrepreneur, I use up my fair share of pens, paper, printer ink, and more. So this time of year provides a smart way for me to restock my shelves with some of those office basics. Sales also give me a good excuse to indulge in some sparkly new folders, notebooks, and more.
To get the best deals on office supplies, shop in-store, as online prices tend to be higher. Plus, you may have to pay for shipping on online purchases.
2. Buy Household Basics
Thanks to budget cuts in many school districts around the country, more teachers are requesting non-traditional items on school supply lists these days. Things like paper towels, tissues, hand sanitizer, and more have been added to back-to-school sales in response to this trend.
Even if you don’t have kids, you can use these unusual back-to-school sales to buy some of your household basics.
These items won’t expire, and if you have room in your budget and in your home to store them, it’s a good time to buy a couple of extra items for your “stash.”
No back-to-school shopping session is complete without getting new clothes for kids who’ve grown over the summer. Thankfully for those of us without kids, clothes of all sizes will be on sale this time of year, not just things in the children’s department. Because teenagers often shop in adult men’s and women’s sections, these clothes will be on sale, too. If you need to replace a few items in your wardrobe, this is a good time to do it.
4. Convenience Food
Packing school lunches for kids is easier with convenience foods like fruit cups, mini boxes of cereal, and chip packs. Plus, these are favorites for many students headed to college for the first time, too.
While these foods aren’t the healthiest option, they can be very convenient for adults who are on-the-go or for an upcoming road trip.
5. Small Appliances
Thanks to students who need to stock their first apartment in college, small household appliances are often on sale during this time of the year, as well.
If you need a new vacuum, microwave, or coffee pot, this is a good time to buy it. You can also take advantage of these items being on sale by saving them for holiday gifts in just a few short months.
The Bottom Line
Back-to-school sales often make people think of things like crayons, markers, and lined notebook paper, but there's so much more on sale. If you follow these back-to-school shopping tips, shop the sales carefully, and stick to buying things you actually need and use, you can save quite a bit of money, even if you don’t have kids to shop for.