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12 Tips to Save Money on Back to School

Back-to-school shopping can become overwhelming and expensive! That’s when it pays to be smart with your money to stretch out your dollars for great back-to-school deals. Here are 12 tips to save money to school shopping to help  save you time, money and your sanity!

12 tips to save money on back to school shopping

1. Take Inventory

My first tip is to look through your own home and take inventory of the items you already have. Go through last year’s supplies and see what can be used, and what needs to be replaced. Search kids’ rooms, old backpacks, and office to check on supplies first. Check old backpacks and see if they have any tears, holes, or broken zippers.

Then, make a list of items you need. If you have multiple kids that need the same items you may be able to split value packs as well so make sure to have an idea of what each child needs before hitting the stores. Also, it might be worth to check online first to compare prices!

2. Stick to a budget

Make a budget and stick to it. “If you have older kids, let them know in advance how much they have to spend. This way they can pick which items they want to “splurge” on and which ones they don’t. They may want to spend a lot on a nice notebook but stick to the cheaper pencils and pens.” Says Robyn of A Dime Saved.

3. Shop early

Beat the lines and picked over back-to-school departments and make a trip to the store one-two weeks before school starts, rather than a day or two before.  “Even doing a little shopping at a time can ease the woes of back-to-school,” says Kelly Rupiper is the Content Director of Upparent.

“On your weekly grocery run or trip to Target, peep through an aisle or two and pick up a few necessary items.  Be it a fresh pack of crayons, fun folders or even Ziploc bags, grab the items that you know you will end up needing.  This saves ‘fun shopping”’ for a family outing that is short and stress-free.  Nothing is better than picking out the backpack or lunchbox of the year!”

OR

4. Shop right before school starts

If you can, wait until right before school starts to buy the essential supplies, and wait a few weeks to purchase the rest when the prices tend to drop! You’ll save money on regular-priced items once school has begun. Also, check the clearance aisles after school begins and you can often find drastic mark-downs on supplies.

5. Check online

When shopping with your older children, make sure you’re not overpaying for more expensive items such as textbooks. On-campus bookstores may be convenient, but aren’t usually the cheapest option.
Head to online retailers such as Chegg and Textbooks..com to get up to 90% off textbooks rentals and used book purchases,” says Sarah Hollenbeck at Offers.com.  “You can even sell those same textbooks back at the end of the year, getting a good portion of your money back.”

Check deals online as well, especially for back-to-school technology where you can find great savings on expensive electronics.

6. Stock up on essentials

Shoes are a bigger-ticket item that can be bought for less during back-to-school sales, and if your child is about to outgrow his or her current size, think about buying another pair in a larger size for later in the school year.

If you know for certain that you will need an abundance of notebooks over the next few years, and you happen upon a great deal on notebooks, stock up. Find out your local office store is running a BOGO on printer paper? Buy some! You might be set until your kids are in college,” says RetailMeNot‘s Shopping and Trends Expert Sara Skirboll.

But…

Think twice about promos that try to get your to buy more. For example, buy-one-get-one 50% off, a lower price when you buy multiples, or a “better value” if you buy a larger pack of something. If it’s an item you may need more of (like folders), this may be a good deal. But, even if you have the best intentions to save the “extra” items for next year, school supply lists change year to year, and glue sticks, markers, etc. may get lost in your home over the next 12 months. Be cautious before buying more (and spending more) than you need for this school year says Hollenbeck.

12 Tips to Save Money on Back to School Shopping | amotherworld.com

7. Use a Student Card

If your child is older and has his/her own student I.D. card, make sure you take that with you when shopping for back to school supplies. “Many retailers and even restaurants offer freebies and discounts of up to 50% just for students, and the savings can be even bigger when shopping for specific items like school supplies and fall clothing,”  says Hollenbeck.

8. Check flyers and coupons

“Quickly glance through some deal sites and store ads to see which items are on sale and stock up on the basics- pens, notebooks etc.” says Robyn of A Dime Saved. “Look online for coupons and take advantage of cashback apps. These little savings can add up in a big way!

Always clip the office and school supply coupons you see in papers or flyers. Even if it is for something you think you don’t need, if you spot a sale on that product, you can sometimes get the product free. “I do this every year with the popular Bic stationery supply coupon, which is why I have a drawer full of free Bic pens, Bic pencils, and even White-Out! I’ll donate extras to school supply drives or my work office,” says Mary Potter Kenyon, author of Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America’s Extreme Obsession.

“Using online coupons is the easiest way to save money on items you would have bought anyway,” says Jill Caponera, Consumer Savings Expert at Promocodes.com. “Search sites fir online coupons at your favorite school supplies stores, such as Staples, Mead and Jansport.”

9.  Buy generic brands

Certain school supplies are packaged and designed with patterns that may be outgrown the following year. They’re also more expensive. Folders and binders that are used every day are either opened or stored away.

“Because of that, you can easily cut out one unnecessary costs of back-to-school shopping by opting for generic designs and brands. Especially with multiple children, it will pay to skip out on flashy or branded materials,” Doug Keller, Community Manager/Personal Finance Expert of Payless Power.

10.  Visit your local dollar store

The dollar store is a great place to shop for notebooks, paper, pens, markers and more at extremely low prices.  You could purchase everything your child needs for the new school year for under $20.

11. Use BTS as a teaching moment

Back to school is a good time to talk about money and how much the family has budgeted for school supplies or clothes. Often, kids want more and/or more expensive items that their parents wish to spend. “Helping children understand what things cost and letting them determine what to buy given a budget helps children understand they can’t have everything they want,” says Bonnie Meszaros, associate director of the Center for Economic Education & Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware.

“Parent and child make a list of items the child wants for back to school or use the supply list many schools send home.  Have child prioritize the things wanted and then the parent provides an amount available to spend on these wants.  Child uses flyers, websites or visits to the store to gather prices and determine which and how many wants can be satisfied and what will have to be given up. Often when a child thinks about what is given up, they reconsider their choices.”

12. Look to the community for help

If you are a family that is struggling financially, look to your community for help. There are a lot of nonprofits across the country that hold back to school drives to support local children and families in need, says Shawna Roy, 43, director of Buckner Family Hope Center in Houston.

There is often a school uniform swap day, so if your child is required to wear a uniform to school, find out if your school district or local organizations and churches are holding a swap. You can provide your uniforms that are only slightly worn and too small to another family and in turn receive uniforms that fit your kids now..

Thrift stores are also be a great place to shop for back-to-school.

Happy Shopping!

 

Shop Back-to-School and Earn Aeroplan Miles

Back-to-school time is always an exciting time of the year. Much like a new calendar year, the start of a new school year brings new goals and plans.

Soon enough, back-to-school shopping will be in full swing. As a child, I would be excited to get ready for the first day of school; and now as a parent of two, it’s even more exciting. New school supplies, new clothes, a new outfit for the first day… and the excitement of a new teacher and seeing friends again.

But before I begin shopping, I take inventory first to see what the kids need. I rummage through kids’ closets first to see what still fits, and what’s been outgrown. I also check school supplies and make note of whether last year’s binders, pencil cases and backpacks have managed to hold up over the course of the previous year.

Once I’m armed with my back-to-school list, I’m ready to start shopping. And if I can earn some travel miles at the same time, I’m thrilled. As an Aeroplan member, I’m always looking for ways to earn miles on my purchases so that I can book that next vacation faster. With over 150 retailers to choose from on the Aeroplan eStore, it’s easy to earn miles.

Just in time for back-to-school season, Aeroplan Members will be able to earn 5X the miles when they shop via the Aeroplan eStore between August 6-19th.

The Aeroplan eStore features over 150 online retailers such as Apple Store Canada, Indigo.ca, Sephora, Hudson’s Bay, The Gap and Old Navy, Amazon.ca and more. Members can find special offers on a daily basis from over 10 different product categories including clothing, jewellery, books, electronics, activities, and entertainment.

Earn miles by shopping through Aeroplan’s eStore in one central location. Here are the benefits from shopping via the eStore:

  • Earn at least 1 Aeroplan Mile for every $1 spent
  • Earn twice when using your Aeroplan-affiliated financial card
  • Easy and secure shopping that allows you to earn miles with every purchase
  • Often times there are promotions where members earn more (3X, 4X, 5X and Aeroplan Status members earn even more!)

 

Aeroplan gives you options to control your travel. You’ll be able to select airline seats, accommodations, car rentals, destination activities, and travel packages all in one place, from either your mobile device or online.

And with 5X the miles site wide between August 6-19th for back to school, you can reach your travel plans faster!

Happy Shopping!

Shop Back-to-School and Earn Aeroplan Miles

Disclosure: I am an Aeroplan brand partner and receive perks. As always, the opinions expressed herein are my own.

 

 

Back to School Shopping for Clothes

Back-to-school can be a whirlwind! Back to school shopping for clothes, shoes and school supplies – there is so much on the shopping list! New shirts and pants, jeans and sweaters, shoes and backpacks – not to mention binders and lunch bags… if you haven’t checked out Sears Canada, you should. WTS?

What the Sears? Our local Sears Canada has undergone a complete renovation and the new changes are amazing. The store is more modern and curated, and the kids clothing section has been revamped too.

With Sears Canada’s private label clothing, families can save on back-to-school clothing. There are $4 t-shirts, and long sleeve shirts 2 for $15, you can’t go wrong. Denim for little ones is 2 for $20 and for big kids, 2 for $22.

Back to School Clothing for Boys

There was no shortage of cool styles for my boys; hoodies and joggers, jeans and t-shirts, and outfits for that special occasion! My older son must wear a shirt and tie with dress pants for hockey games so I found him dresswear at Sears.

Back to School Shopping for Clothes at Sears Canada Back to School Shopping for Clothes at Sears Canada Back to School Shopping for Clothes at Sears Canada

Back to School Shopping for Clothes at Sears Canada

Back to School Shopping for Clothes at Sears Canada
Graphic Tee Pow $3.97
Back to School Shopping for Clothes at Sears Canada
Boys Fleece Jogger Black $12.97 each (sizes 2-6x); $14.97 each (sizes 8-16)
Back to School Shopping for Clothes at Sears Canada
Skinny Fit Denim 2 for $20 OR $12.97 each (sizes 2-6x) 2 for $22 OR $14.97 each (sizes 8-16)

Back to School Clothing for Girls

Back to School Shopping for Clothes at Sears Canada
Sears Girl’s Screen Printed Tee Unicorn $3.97
Back to School Shopping for Clothes at Sears Canada
Girls Jegging 2 for $20; $12.97 each (sizes 2-6x OR 2 for $22; $14.97 each (sizes 8-16)
Back to School Shopping for Clothes at Sears Canada
Fleece Sweatshirts $16.97
Back to School Shopping for Clothes at Sears Canada
Lunch Bag Minion $9.97
Back to School Shopping for Clothes at Sears Canada
Girls’ Trainer Navy $41.24

Back to School Shopping Online at Sears.ca

You can also shop all Sears Canada at Sears.ca.  Ship to the store for free, or enjoy free shipping over $99. You must check out the website – you can purchase vintage luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Fendi!

The Cut

Before we left, I had to check out The Cut which features on trend, fashion-forward pieces, including designer fashion and home décor for 30-60% less.

Happy Back to School Shopping!

Back to School Shopping at Sears Canada | amotherworld

 

Disclosure: This post is proudly sponsored by Sears Canada. As always the opinions expressed herein are my own.

Back-To-School Shopping in a Flash!

Brought to you by Interac Association and TheCo

With back-to-school time approaching, parents will soon again be pulling out their wallets to pay for all the things… back-to-school outfits, school supplies, school-appropriate snacks, and much more.

How hectic do you find back-to-school shopping? It truly depends on the number of kids you have, plus what age they are! My teen and tween boys are growing at a rapid rate, which means we’ll be shopping for many new items… clothing, sturdy backpacks and binders, running shoes, as well as new (expensive) hockey gear for the upcoming season.

I’m one of those people who rarely carry around cash anymore. When I’m shopping, I love being able to conveniently pull out my debit card and tap it to pay. I can easily navigate through checkout, and be on my way. After all, our daily routines are scheduled to a tee – time is always of the essence.

Interac Flash® is a convenient and secure way to pay for purchases because you don’t have to enter your PIN, or fumble around for change. Just hold your Interac Flash card up to the contactless point-of-sale reader, and you’re done.

Back-To-School Shopping in a Flash | amotherworld.com

You know when you’re going through the morning drive-thru for your beloved coffee? Just hold your Interac Flash-enabled debit card in front of the reader, and off you go. As a busy mom, it’s the little things to save time that make all the difference in my day!

What’s the difference between Interac Flash and Interac Debit? Flash incorporates all the built-in protection of Debit with even more protective measures to ensure your money is always safe. t offers strong consumer protections and unique security features, including the fact that the card never leaves the user’s hand.

Interac Flash makes purchasing a seamless process, helping you to better navigate your busy life. Whether tackling the big back-to-school shop or grabbing snacks for your morning commute, Interac Flash is there for your day-to-day necessities.

Visit www.interacflash.ca for more information.

Back-To-School Shopping in a Flash | amotherworld

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post; however, all opinions expressed here are my own. Interac and Interac Flash are registered trade-marks of Interac Inc. Used under license.

Back to School Shopping and Saving

Do you go back-to-school shopping with your kids, or do you get it all done online?

While some of you have completed back-to-school shopping, I usually wait for the last minute back to school shopping the few days before school begins – it’s all part of that back-to-school rush feeling!

Canadian parents plan to spend, on average, more than $300 per child on back-to-school shopping! These expenses include everything from school supplies to the latest technology.

So before I begin back-to-school shopping and saving, I like to check out the deals online first – from the comfort of my couch. RetailMeNot.ca has all of the best deals in one convenient place.

Here are my favourite Back to School essentials for this year found through RetailMeNot.ca. You can get some great discounts with coupon and promo codes for thousands of online stores with RetailMeNot, and save with in-store and printable coupons.

Back to School Shopping and Saving

back to school shopping and saving

Backpack

A good, sturdy backpack with plenty of storage options is essential for growing kids. The licensed character backpacks are cute when kids are in younger grades, but they don’t have enough space for books and large zipper binders. This one from Swiss Gear fits laptops too. Available at Shop.ca. Right now if you shop at SHOP.CA, RetailMeNot has an exclusive $50 off when you spend $125 or more.

Back to School Shopping and Saving - Swiss Gear Backpack

 

 

Lunch Box

There are so many options for lunch boxes. Many schools encourage “Boomerang” lunches, meaning packing lunches in recyclable containers. Bento-type boxes work well, as do various sizes of BPA-free containers like the Rubbermaid Lunch Blox, or Bento Buddies from Chapters Indigo.

 

Back to School Shopping and Saving Bento Buddies

 

Dry Erase Board

Older kids can stay on top of their school schedules with this cute stylish Peel + Stick Dry Erase Board Set by WallPOPS, featuring a monthly calendar, weekly planner, and message board. Includes a dry erase marker and letters for personalization. Available at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Back to School Shopping and Saving - Dry Erase Board

 

Running Shoes

Kids will need a good pair of running shoes AND a clean pair of indoor shoes; velcro will come in handy for little ones while older kids can enjoy runners like these New Balance sneakers from Foot Locker.

Back to School Shopping and Saving

Clothing

Old Navy has some great deals for back-to-school shopping for boys and girls. Check out all of the discounts here.

Back to School Shopping and Saving at Old Navy and RetailMeNot.ca

 

ENTER TO WIN

To help you with your back-to-school shopping and saving, one lucky reader will win a $100 Visa card thanks to RetailMeNot.ca!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Open to Canadians only. Ends September 13, 2015. Good luck!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back to School Essentials 2014

It’s the back to school rush! For some of you who have already done your back-to-school shopping, kudos to you. I’m usually a procrastinator, waiting for last minute back to school shopping the weekend before school begins. Earlier than that for me and it cuts into my summer time!

Here are my favourite Back to School Essentials 2014.

Back to School Essentials 2014

Backpack

A good, sturdy backpack with plenty of storage options is essential for growing kids. The licensed character backpacks are cute when kids are in kindergarten but they don’t have enough space for books and they aren’t built to last. My favourite is the Dudley Fully Loaded Backpack – my son’s backpack from last year is still holding up! I also like the look of this backpack from Swiss Gear.

Back to School Essentials 2014 Back to School Essentials Swiss Gear Backpack

Lunch Box

There are so many options for lunch boxes out there, especially since many school are litterless. I love the idea of bento-type boxes but they just don’t work for my kids. I like The Fully Loaded Lunch Bag by Dudley. It has a strong durable handle, insulated interior, sturdy base and zipper and mesh pockets – five pockets for added storage capacity and organization.

Back to School Essentials

This Louis Garneau Extreme Rectangular Lunch Box in navy blue and green because it looks like it’s built to last. It has a grey insulated lunch box with front pocket top opening, removable plastic liner for easier cleaning and removable shoulder strap included. This one is available online at Staples.ca.

Back to School Essentials 2014

Pencils and Pens

When my son was learning to write, he had trouble holding the pencil properly and his fingers would slide down the pencil. It was enough of a challenge learning to hold the pencil, let alone learning to print letters! The BIC Kids line helps little fingers learn how to hold a pencil and write properly. The line includes a mechanical pencil, pen and stylus and they offer a unique guiding line to help position fingers correctly. They’re ergonomically designed for kids’ little hands – both left and right-handed.

Back to School Essentials Bic Kids

Binders and Notebooks

Shopping for school supplies like binders, pencil cases and notebooks is always a treat because I end up buying supplies for myself too! School supplies by Hilroy, ave always been my favourite because of their colours and patterns.

Hilroy® Shape It Up™ Binder 1.5", Assorted Designs. Three assorted designs include strips, hearts and circles.

Running shoes

Kids will need a good pair of running shoes AND a clean pair of indoor shoes; velcro will come in handy for little ones while older kids can enjoy runners like these from Skechers.

The Skechers Skech Appeal line of sneakers are made in a smooth trubuck leather, synthetic and mesh fabric upper in a lace up athletic training sneaker with stitching and overlay accents. These shoes have a Memory Foam insole – do you have any idea how comfortable the Memory Foam is?! They’re like wearing your favourite comfy pair of slippers! Girls Skech Appeal – $63.

Back to School Essentials Skechers

 

My boys will look stylin’ in these skater style SKECHERS Vert 2 shoe. Smooth leather and perforated leather upper in a lace up athletic casual skate sneaker with stitching and overlay accents. Boys Vert 2, $56.

Back to School Essentials Skechers Boys 

 

Water Bottle

Every purchase of a Me to We product makes a positive impact on the world by giving a gift in a Free The Children community overseas, like clean water, school supplies and healthy meals. Look for your unique impact code on every product, and enter it online at TrackYourImpact.com to see where in the world your life-changing gift was delivered. Available at Staples.

Back to School Essentials Water Bottle

Pencil Case

Older kids will love this one! The Dudley Load N Lock Pencil Pod is a locking pencil case with resettable combination so you can protect your belongings from disappearing! My 10-year-old will love that his little brother won’t be able to “borrow” pens and markers from his pencil case any more!

Back to School Essentials Dudley Lock and Load Pencil Pod

What is on your back-to-school essentials list?

 

Back to School with H&M!

It’s Back to School time at H&M and we can’t help but be excited about the latest fall fashions for kids!

School is starting soon which means it’s time to go shopping for back to school outfits and fall clothing for kids. It’s always a pleasure to go back to school shopping and H&M has great outfits to choose from.

With H&M Autumn arrivals comes soft basics, casual classics, and exciting everyday dressing.

H&M Fall 2014 boys - enter to win $150 gift card

H&M Fall 2014 boys

H&M Fall 2014 girls

H&M Fall 2014 girls

Right now at H&M, get a combo of selected Tops + Bottoms for only $14.95. Plus from now until September 4, 2014, you can get 20% off your entire purchase in the Kids department! You can either print it or show it on your mobile device. Click the photo below to get your coupon.

H&M Canada Coupon

ENTER TO WIN

One lucky reader will win a $150 gift card to H&M for Back to School shopping!

Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter this giveaway. Open to Canada only. Ends August 31, 2014. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

H&M Back to School at amotherworld.com

 

 

Back to School Shopping for Kids at Sears

Back-to-school shopping has been in full swing the last few weeks in our house! While the boys may not be overly excited about shopping, this mama is!

Before we head to the mall, I go through the kids’ closets first and make a list of what they need. Typically September is warm and the kids can still wear shorts and T-shirts with a sweater for cooler mornings. But Canadian weather can change quickly so I like to be a little prepared and have some long-sleeves and jackets ready.

I remember how excited I would be as a child for that very first day – new school supplies, new outfit, the excitement of a new teacher and new friends… The first day of school is both nerve-wracking and exciting for the kids – and for parents!

It’s tradition to take photos of the kids on the front porch as they are on the way to school, decked out in new outfits.  We had an opportunity to shop at Sears this back-to-school season.

back to school shopping

The kids particularly loved browsing the Tony Hawk line of clothing. Sears also carries Converse, Adidas, Levis and Nevada.

converse clothing Sears

 

We bought a few pairs of track pants – 2 for $20, you can’t go wrong with that price! The boys picked out a few Tony Hawk long-sleeve shirts too. For the skater-style, Nevada had some great picks for slim-fit coloured pants.

tony hawk for boys

back to school

The boys enjoyed trying on their picks:

back to school boys

The Sears in Upper Canada Mall is being renovated so we didn’t have a chance to see The Kids Room yet but I’m already noticing how more spacious the kids’ clothing area looks.

back-to-school shopping

 

I didn’t realize the details of the KidVantage lifetime wear out warranty – If the item wears out, Sears will either repair it or replace it with the identical item in the same size or a similar item of equal value in the same size. It covers children’s apparel sizes from infants up to 18, and footwear up to senior kids’ size 6 but you need to keep your receipts!

Also, Sears offers a Price Match Guarantee – they will match a competitor’s advertised price on identical items within 30 days of purchase. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

Sears is also hosting a “Back We Go” Facebook contest where you can enter for a chance to win one of five weekly $500 Sears gift card prizes, and 35 daily $50 Sears gift cards to put towards your back to school shopping!

To enter the contest, “like” the Sears Facebook page at www.facebook.com/searscanada and click on the contest tab. Click on the entry form and enter your information here: http://goo.gl/kDCZ7I

Good luck!

back to school shopping for kids

 

Disclosure: I am part of the Sears Back to School Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

 

Back to School Shopping and Old Navy Giveaway

Back to school shopping can be a pain but with Old Navy, you can really get a bang for your buck.

I recently bought a few pairs of jeans for the boys at only $10 each.  What a steal!  So many styles to choose from – relaxed, boot cut and even skinny jeans. Pair them with sneakers and a hoodie and your kid will be stylin’.

 I also like some of the pieces for women, like this jacket and denim legging.  In all fairness, this jegging is falling off this skinny model – I’d easily fill these in.

Hunting Jacket $44.50, Cable Scoop Sweater $29.50, Rockstar Denim Legging $39

AMotherWorld and Old Navy are teaming up to get you ready for fall.  Enter to win 1 of 2 giftcards to Old Navy!  ($50 and $25.  Canada only.)

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For an additional entry, you may enter via Twitter by following amotherworld and Tweet the following:

I want to win an Old Navy gift card from @amotherworld 

Contest ends Labour Day, Monday September 7th.  Good luck!