According to the National Retail Federation, when it comes to back-to-school spending, parents of children in grades K-12 will spend close to $700 on their children. That number includes everything from backpacks to pencils to calculators. One of the most significant portions of that number, though, is technology. Students need access to tech, but you can cut that spending with wallet-friendly strategies for purchasing back-to-school technology.
Pick up the Sunday paper
When was the last time you picked up the Sunday paper? Chock full of coupons, circulars, and ads, the Sunday paper gives you an overview of what’s available where -- and at what price. You can compare items at several stores without having to drive all over town. Most major brands advertise sale dates and prices in the Sunday paper, so you can plot your shopping trips based on those sales. Plus, hang on to those coupons because you may be able to clip even bigger savings.
Whether you find them in the newspaper or online, coupons will help you save on technology. Keep an eye out for brand-specific coupons, like those that offer a percentage off a specific make and model. Try to combine those with store-specific coupons, like those that offer a percentage off of your total purchase. The good news is that most retailers will honor competitors’ coupons, so if you find a great sale price at one store, combine it with a product coupon from another store to maximize your savings. In addition, many retailers offer a percentage or dollar amount off a total purchase with a student ID.
Online retailers offer back-to-school deals, but be sure to compare prices among brick-and-mortar retailers with online shops. Often, one place will be offering a purchase incentive -- like, buy a computer of a certain value and get a printer for free -- that you won’t find in stores. However, to make sure you’re reaping the maximum benefit, factor in those extra costs like shipping or insurance. If you have the luxury of time, set up a Google Alert to notify you of online sales and deals.
Avoid the latest and greatest
For most students’ needs, a slightly older model computer is sufficient. The latest tools and technology are often significantly more expensive than the previous generation. Purchase last year’s model and the previous year’s software to save on the bottom line.
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