This year’s back-to-school shopping season requires shoppers to stick to their budgets without exposing themselves, or their kids, to the coronavirus. Here’s how to shop for school safely without breaking your budget.
Set a budget
Look through your kids’ school supply lists, jot down any other necessities you need to purchase for them now, and set a reasonable budget you can stick to. If you dare, assign a dollar amount to each category.
If you’re trying to avoid crowded stores, your best bet is to shop online. You can find everything your child needs for school on sites like Amazon, Target.com, and Walmart.com. Most big brands offer quick and cost-free delivery when you spend a minimum amount.
Shop the sales
Retailers tend to place different back-to-school items on sale each weekend throughout the summer, and if you’re a careful shopper you can take advantage of them all. Check out the sites of major retailers, or flip through the sale flyers, to find the best bargains leading up to the start of school.
Pair up with a friend
Pair up with another parent and split the supply list between the two of you, with each parent buying items for the kids in both families. This way, one of you can run across town to the store with the crazy deals on crayons while the other picks out binders at the store selling them at the lowest price. As a bonus, you’ll be limiting your exposure to the virus by shopping in fewer stores.
Avoid the crowds
Time all in-person shopping for hours when stores tend to have smaller crowds. Consider an early-morning run or an evening shopping spree instead of an afternoon of hitting the shops.
Don’t forget the masks
The CDC continues to recommend face coverings for all students in K-12 schools. While you may already have a sizable collection of masks at home, consider purchasing some new masks for your child before school begins. After a summer at home, getting used to wearing a mask for hours at a time again will be challenging, and some new, breathable masks will make it easier for your child to adjust.
Follow the tips outlined above for a safe back-to-school shopping season that doesn’t break your budget.