Back to school time — time to grab the shopping carts and try to make a dollar stretch.
If you plan ahead a little, you can get your child ready for school and get yourself through the big stores without tears or melting your credit card.
Here is a condensed list of tips to help out.
» The first thing to do is take inventory. Start checking off on the list right at home. There is a good chance you already have that item on the list.
» Check the websites and social media sites of the big retailers for their sales/coupons/membership programs.
» There are many free educational iPad apps such as Brain Pop, Popular Science, SAT Up, National Geographic, NASA Earth Now, Sphere and History Hero.
» Target has a dollar section of surprisingly useful stuff.
» Watch for discounts and coupon programs at all the office/school supply chains.
» Amazon has a whole back-to-school section.
» Apple is giving away a $100 gift card with a purchase of a Mac and a $50 gift card with a purchase of an iPad.
» There are several book discount stores online for big savings on high school and college textbooks.
» Create a parent group and buy in bulk on items that everyone needs.
» Certain items will save you money if you buy good quality the first time. Some of these items are pencil sharpeners, erasers, protractors, compasses, flash drives, lunch boxes and backpacks.
» Take advantage of discounts now to purchase items that you know will get wrecked or broken during the school year.
» Have a clothing swap with your friends, community or church. Kids often outgrow their clothes while still in good condition.
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— Rae Largura is president of Leading Edge Tutors. The opinions expressed are her own.