DENVER -- While many of us are still picking away at our Fourth of July barbecue leftovers, retailers across the Denver area are quietly stocking the shelves with back-to-school supplies.
Yes, it’s that time of year again, but it’s probably the last thing on shoppers’ minds (and definitely not even in the realm of kids’ reality).
In actuality though, retailers were moving out the summer gear and setting up displays of notebooks, pencils, glue and all the other classroom essentials days before the Fourth of July holiday.
A recent report by a New-York marketing firm found that back-to-school social media buzz among consumers begins the week of Independence Day and peaks toward the end of the month and early August.
But should you take advantage of the early back-to-school sales? Experts say you’ll be better off waiting until August when better deals come around. Retailers traditionally start to ramp up the savings toward the end of the season to clear up shelf space.
Here are five tips from credit.com to make this year’s back-to-school shopping trip a breeze:
Set a budget
First, decide what you can realistically afford to spend on back-to-school season. Starting with a clear budget in mind, and keeping track of the money you spend on school shopping, can help keep unnecessary spending in check.
Let older kids access some of their money
Giving older kids some autonomy when shopping for more variable back-to-school items, like clothes and shoes may be a good idea. Give your kids the cash you would normally spend on these items, and let them shop on their own. You may find that kids are more frugal when they’re spending their money than they are when they’re spending yours.
Shop secondhand throughout the summer
Kids’ clothes can be easy to find secondhand, often in great condition. But buying secondhand does take more time, so make sure you budget that as well. Make it a point to hit up garage sales, Goodwill and consignment shops throughout the summer to get the clothes your kids need to head back to school. Chances are, you can find some trendy items that fit well while saving a fortune.
Organize a swap meet
If you know friends and neighbors who have kids who are around the same age(s) as yours, consider a swap meet. This is an event where everyone brings a certain number of great condition, used items. If you bring four items, you can leave with four items. No one spends a dime. This could work for back-to-school clothes, shoes, and even electronics and school books.
Check Out Coupons
Before you go school supply shopping, run a quick online search to see if you can find coupons for any of the supplies you need. Chances are, the coupons will be for name-brand products, so be sure to compare the discounted name-brand price with the regular off-brand price before you purchase.