Cultural Connect

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back to School Discounts is a Parent’s Dream

Millions of parents are flocking to local stores to buy school supplies. This annual ritual is much different than it has been in the past. The rising cost of gas, food and school supplies is digging deeper into the family budget. What should a parent do to make ends meet? It appears that parents will have to research longer hours to find the same discounts on clothes and school supplies that they were able to find last year.

To take advantage of the discounts parents are learning to work together. Some parents are sending friend to one store while they visit another store. Parents are going were the prices are cheaper. Although back to school shopping is an annual activity parents also fail to take an inventory of everything that they already have. This is especially true when a parent waits until the last minute to do back to school shopping. A parent can save hundreds of dollars just by checking the places in their home where school supplies were stored last year.

Parent’s can get trapped by the discount sign in the store window. The sale sign is nice and big to attract customers into the store. One store might offer three packs of pens for $3.00. Another store might offer five packs of pens for $3.00. If you go to the same store every year it still may pay to compare prices to get the best buy.

The start of school is not the best time to get electronic gifts like computers. It may be better to wait a few weeks after your student has started school. Things like IPODs and CD players will have a lower price after the big rush is over. Don’t let the back to school pressure force you to make a purchase that puts you into bigger debt. When you finally decide to make an electronics purchase look for rebates and discounts on products. Some discounts are immediate while others must be mailed to the corporate headquarters.

Some parents get wrapped up into the back to school rush. The whole idea of having the children out of the house is a reward for a crazy summer. Don’t allow your rush to buy school supplies to put you further into debt. Pulling out the credit card can add 24 percent to your purchase. Do your best to pay for everything in cash. In fact it might be a good idea to create a bank account where you put money away for back to school purchases you will make next year.

Just because there are crowds of people at a particular store does not mean that it is offering the best discount. It may be an indication that they are great advertisers. When making purchases it is best to go slow. Talk to your friends who are making purchases they may help you to identify the best places to shop. Parents you can get your students back to school and avoid breaking your bank account if you make wise purchases. Parents can make every discount count by remembering to start back to school shopping early. Dr. Stephen Jones is author of a new book the Ultimate scholarship, Seven Secrets of How to Study and the Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide” and the “Ultimate Scholarship Guide.” Dr. Jones can be contacted at 610-842-3843.


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