11 Jul

Smart Tips for Back-to-School Shopping

Kids in school hallway

Smart Tips for Back-to-School Shopping

While back-to-school season can be exciting, it can also be financially overwhelming for parents. The costs of supplies, clothing, and other essentials can quickly add up. However, with careful planning and a few savvy strategies, you can save money and make back-to-school shopping a budget-friendly experience. Navigator Credit Union has five tips on saving on back-to-school shopping.

Take Inventory and Make a List

Start by taking stock of what your children already have. Look through backpacks, drawers and closets to identify any school supplies, clothes or shoes that are still in good condition and can be reused. This will give you a clear idea of what you need to buy. Make a comprehensive list of the essential items required and stick to it.

Utilize Coupons and Cashback

Look for coupons in newspapers, magazines, or online coupon websites. Many retailers also offer digital coupons easily accessed through mobile apps or websites. Additionally, consider signing up for cashback programs or using cashback apps that offer rebates on your purchases. Over time, these small savings can add up significantly.

Comparison Shop and Price Match

Don't settle for the first price you see. Look for deals on specific items and compare them across various retailers. Many stores offer price-matching policies, which means they will match or beat a competitor's price if you provide proof. This way, you can secure the best deal without visiting multiple stores.

Buy in Bulk and Plan Ahead

Consider buying school supplies and other essentials in bulk. Warehouse clubs and online retailers often offer discounted prices when purchasing larger quantities. Additionally, plan for the upcoming school year by buying items during end-of-season sales. Stock up on clothing, backpacks, and other essentials when they are heavily discounted.

Shop Sales and Sales Tax Holidays

Keep an eye out for flyers, online ads, and newsletters from your favorite retailers, as they often have promotions and discounts leading up to the school season. Plan your shopping trips accordingly to make the most of these sales.

Shoppers can also save big during back-to-school sales tax holidays. You can purchase certain school-related items during these holidays without paying state sales tax. Many cities and municipalities also waive local sales tax during these periods. Here are the details of the sales tax holidays in Alabama and Mississippi:


  • Date: July 21-23, 2023
  • Eligible items: Clothing, computers, school supplies, and books
  • The maximum purchase price per item: $100 for clothing, $750 for computers, $50 for school supplies and $30 for books



  • Date: July 28-29, 2023
  • Eligible items: Clothing, computers, and school supplies
  • The maximum purchase price per item: $100 for clothing and computers and $50 for school supplies


Back-to-school shopping doesn't have to break the bank. With careful planning and smart choices, you can save money while ensuring your child is ready for the upcoming school year.