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Shopping for Back-to-School Items During Inflation August 9, 2022

For many in our community, school is just around the corner and that means back-to-school shopping. According to the National Retail Federation, approximately 87% of shoppers say current economic conditions will impact the way they shop.

Here are tips to follow while shopping:

Shop at Small Businesses
Small businesses desperately want back-to-school shopping business and offer aggressive discounts and sales. They may not advertise as much as big box stores so visiting their brick-and-mortar establishments may be well worth your time.

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Reuse and Recycle Items


There’s no better time than now to reuse and recycle last year’s items. If backpacks and other school supplies are in decent shape, why not reuse them? Or pass them down to younger siblings, friends, and other family members.  

Buyer Beware


Since the start of the pandemic and with the current inflationary period, Buy-Now, Pay-Later programs have exploded in popularity. Many parents have opted into these types of programs to pay items like laptops or furniture. However, this option has pitfalls since consumers are buying “wants” and not necessarily “needs.”

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Motto This Year: Less is Best


Do you really need to purchase your child a new wardrobe? Probably not. If your child hasn’t grown out of their clothes or shoes, consider purchasing a few things and then wait for a better sale or when you have more cash on hand.

Use Paper and Online Coupons


If you are not a coupon cutter or take advantage of online codes, start now. Retailers will offer coupons to entice shoppers to purchase their brands. On top of this, grocery stores and large retailers will run sales on the exact same items. Become a savvy shopper and utilize the cost-saving tactic of doubling up on discounts.

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Check for Supply Giveaway Programs in Your Community

Most schools and community groups will run school-supply giveaway events. Various nonprofits, such as the United Way, will partner with school systems to offer supply dissemination programs. Contact your school to find out which organization(s) is running these events and what you need to do to participate. You may have to show proof of income or student IDs/documentation.

Take Advantage of Sales Tax Holidays


Make sure you do your shopping during tax-free holidays. Most states, including Maryland, offer these holidays so consumers can get a bit of relief. Maryland’s tax holiday is August 14-20, 2022.

As always, shoppers need to be diligent and do homework before stepping into a store or adding things into their online shopping cart. Assessing what is exactly necessary for school and understanding the overall family budget are crucial to saving money right from the get-go.

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Category: Credit & Budgeting

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