From a very young age, I understood not just the importance of a freshly pressed outfit with price tags newly ripped from the seams, but the value of pencils sharpened like daggers and Lisa Frank notebooks ordered by beauty. I guess you could say that I was a bit of a back-to-school shopping nut. I would drag my parents up and down the aisles of Target, Office Depot or the children’s section of Sears in search of anything and everything that would make this school year the best school year.
You can probably also guess that as an adult, I still love a new outfit and that as each September rolls around I start to long for the days of shopping sales for a glittery pencil sharpener or a three-ring binder featuring the faces of the Backstreet Boys. As September of 2011 approaches, many parents may be searching for ways to keep their kids happy and their costs down.
Your San Diego BBB knows that while spending your money is easy, stretching dollars is not. Here are some tips for the back-to-school shopper who wants to get the most bang for their buck without breaking the bank:
· Make a “grocery list.” Most of us know that you shouldn’t grocery shop on an empty stomach. Similar to walking the aisles of an Albertson’s while we long for a snack, try not to go back-to-school shopping unless you are prepared with a list of your needs and, if you can afford it, your wants.
· You know you gotta shop around. Do your research. The sale price isn’t always the best price. Most of us are familiar with the trappings of misleading advertising, and there is assuredly going to be a fair share of misleading back-to-school ads. Be prepared. Read the fine print, and compare prices online before you leave to go to the stores.
· Keep your competitive edge. Look into every stores policy. Many stores accept competitor’s coupons and match, or sometimes beat, competitor’s pricing. While it is unlikely that you want to quibble over an 18-cent folder, on larger purchases, it may be a good idea to keep this strategy in your back pocket.
· Clip coupons. Don’t depend solely on the in-store discounts. Look online and in newspaper advertisements; either can be a great source for finding the best markdowns. The BBB is also a great resource for coupons. Click here to check out what back-to-school specials Accredited Businesses are offering.
· Keep track on your shopping. Keep a list of what you have bought and how much you have spent. That way, you won’t be surprised when the credit card bill comes.
By the way…if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service in real estate we provide, please call me or have them go to and I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.