5 tips for saving on last-minute back-to-school shopping

Child at school.

Summer goes by quickly, and before you know it back-to-school season has arrived. Suddenly you realize you haven’t yet bought anything on that list of back-to-school items your child’s teacher sent home months ago. But don't panic.

Here are five easy tips to keep you from spending a fortune on last-minute back-to-school items.

1. Shop your home. Before you start shopping, look through every drawer and closet in your house to find extra pens, paper, markers and other supplies. A good place to start is your junk drawer, where pens and paper tend to collect.

2. Wait a few weeks. Because retailers are eager to get a jump on the holiday season, they'll be clearing out the back-to-school items with deep discounts. If there are items on your kids' lists that can wait until after school starts, get them in a few weeks when they're on clearance.

3. Host a swap. Round up friends, family or neighbors who have children older and younger than yours and host a clothing swap. It can help all of you fill your closets without emptying your wallets. 

4. Buy new to you. For backpacks and clothes, make the most of local garage and consignment sales. Visit kidsconsignmentsales.com and search for one near you, or check out an online consignment store like thredup.com

5. Think long term. Buying 100 pens or 20 notebooks may feel like overkill right now, but you’ll pat yourself on the back when you’re not scrambling to get more supplies mid-year. Make sure to take advantage of this year’s back-to-school clearance sales to stock up for next year!

While planning ahead is always ideal for back-to-school shopping, you can still get everything you need under the wire and under budget.

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