When I start to see signs for back to school sales, I know summer’s end is fast approaching. Here are some tips and links to sites that hopefully can help you stretch your budget. Don’t forget that back to school sales aren’t always about children’s items. This is a great time to pick up things like paper and pens. Perfect if you have a home office or run your own business. And don’t forget you can find bargains on other items like clothes, electronics and yes, food too.
If your child or college bound off spring is in the market for some electronic gadgets check out www.PropertyRoom.com. This is a online police auction site offering a wide variety of laptops, computers, printers, monitors, software, PDAs, copiers, and other electronics.Although the inventory changes weekly, popular brands that are often available include Toshiba, Gateway, HP Compaq, HP Pavilion, Dell, and Sony Vaio. All laptops, as well as other electronics and goods on the PropertyRoom.com site, have been given a thorough cleaning and testing, and have been inspected prior to being put up for auction. The auctions usually start at just one dollar and end at a fraction of what the item would cost to purchase new in the store.
For the College Kids
Check out www.Dormco.com It’s a new online retailer designed exclusively to offerquality, affordable, discounted dormitory room supplies for students.
DormCo.com is a one-stop-shop to get all the essentials and accessories a student needs. Everything on the DormCo.com site is offered at near wholesale pricing and shipping is guaranteed at a flat rate of $2.95 for the entire order. DormCoalso offer weekly deals where specific dorm accessories and necessities are
featured at lower than normal pricing.
Don’t Forget The Codes
Here’s a site that offers codes for more popular back to school items CouponCodes4u.com http://www.couponcodes4u.com/most-popular-discounts.
Designer Clothing For Less
Sometimes you can buy designer clothing on our budget smart girl prices so check out Children’s Orchard www.childrensorchard.com which offers designer names like GAPKIDS, Abercrombie, Tommy Hilfiger Kids separates that cost upwards of $70 at most stores but closer to $12-$15 at Children’s Orchard.
Two Sites Not To Miss
Someone send me links to both these sites,www.shabbyapple.com nice feature here is you can shop by price. And www.campusbokrentals.com, where renting your textbooks instead of buying them can save you a ton of money.
Let’s Not Forget the Food
And here’s something the folks at Smuker’s Uncrustables send me to pass along to you-
As summer slips away and parents are already setting up carpool schedules, buying school supplies, or gearing up for after school sports, Smucker’s Uncrustables is asking parents to share their best on-the-go solution to help other busy parents in exchange for a free box of Smucker’s Uncrustables sandwiches (4-pack; ARV $3.00).
Parents can log on to www.uncrustables.com to submit their tip and receive a coupon for a free box…and we want to hear all of your savvy readers’ tips. We hope you will encourage them to participate in the Smucker’s Uncrustables Ready To Go! Sandwiches Coupon Offer by submitting their own time-saving solutions for a chance to win a box of Smucker’s Uncrustables sandwiches.
From August 16th through September 15th, Uncrustables will give away a total of 50,000 sandwiches (12,500 coupons for a free 4-pack box). Smucker’s Uncrustables Sandwiches now offer five flavors and varieties including two options now on Whole Wheat Bread.
Sites Helping Parents Stay on Budget
www.eBillme.com a company that has created the Debt-Free Mall as a resource to help people find deals, save money, and pay debt-free while shopping online. As the end of summer vacation approaches, the Debt-Free Mall has a whole section specifically tailored for back-to-school shoppers (http://www.ebillme.com/shop/gifts/).
And check out http://www.buy.com/loc/backtoschool/68531.html.
Tips and Hints
And here are some tips and hints to help you stretch your back to school dollar.
Remember Lisa Reynolds, RedPlum’s Mom-Saver-in-Chief? Here are some of her back-to-school savvy savings tips:
- Plan Ahead of Time: Meet as a family to make back-to-school lists and match these with coupons and codes, online and offline. Check the websites of your favorite back-to-school stores, since there might be hidden coupons on the site. Lisa advises parents to call stores ahead of time before making the trip, to make sure that they have the specific product you are looking for. This way, you don’t waste gas on a wasted trip!
- Save receipts: If you find a better price on an item later in the summer, it’s likely the retailer will honor the difference of the purchase and sale price if you take the product back with the receipt.
- Stock-up on sale items: Chances are, your student can never have enough pens, pencils and notebooks. When you see any of these items on special, or a savings is featured with your loyalty card and you have a coupon, stock up! (66% of coupon shopper say they are often able to combine coupons with other in-store specials, sales or frequent shopper discounts.)
- Call Manufacturer 800 Numbers: Up to 35 percent of manufacturers only send coupons upon request. These 800 numbers can usually be found on the back to the item.
- Save More, Spend Less: When it comes to family lunches and dinners, you want to provide healthy meals that aren’t extremely costly. Lisa recommends that parents plan family meals using their grocery stores print or online circular. Since grocery is the number one savings category at 89 percent, many savvy cooks (and savers!) create meal plans based on what the stores advertise that week.
www.RetailMeNot.com Back to School Tips
Before you brave the malls, arm yourself with the best coupons, and these savvy strategies to get your kids back to school without breaking the bank.
Ask a Mom—Read up on all the latest special offers, discounts and freebies for back to school by the experts—the mom bloggers. Some of our favorite blogs for back to school saving include Deal Seeking Mom, Common Sense with Money and Bargain Briana.
Look who’s Tweeting—Stay up to the minute on best deals by following your favorite retailers, bloggers and coupon resources, including @retailmenot.
Cost-Compare Online—When buying big ticket back to school items like a new computer, be sure to use a trusted price comparison engine, like BeatMyPrice.com, to make sure you’re getting the lowest price.
Get Money Back—Why not earn while you spend? Sites like Swagbucks.com and eBates.com let you earn cash and rewards when you shop.
Become a Fan—Stores like Target.com send special updates and promotional offers exclusively to their fans on Facebook.com.
Use a Coupon Code—We can’t say it enough—never make a purchase without first checking retailmenot.com for a coupon.
TECH-SAVVY BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING TIPS from wwww.pricegabber.com
Set a price alert. There are websites out there that allow you to set a price alert so you get an email notification when the item drops to the price you’re willing to pay. These alerts are really helpful for big ticket back-to-school items like laptops, printers, and electronics.
Comparison shop for everything on your list. Comparison websites save consumers an average of 20-30% on large ticket items like bicycles and back-to-school sports equipment, as well as lower price point items like backpacks and lunch boxes.
Check prices online from a mobile phone. Several iPhone apps allow shoppers to evaluate products to ensure the sale price is really the best deal. With the PriceGrabber app, you scan the bar code of the item and find the cheapest price on the site.
Find the closest deal. For those last minute items there are iPhone apps out there that not only show you the best deal, but show you the best deal closest to you. You simply scan the item barcode and using GPS the app shows you where you can find that item near you for the best price.
Print out online coupons. You can find so many deals if you just take the time to look. Many retailers will post coupons on their Websites, so visit often and sign up for their email newsletters as well. You can easily end up saving 30 percent on that must have item.
Take advantage of online promotional codes. There are numerous Websites where people post promotional codes directly from the retailer. Do a little detective work and you’re liable to save 15 percent or get free shipping.