When I was in high school, I used to love back to school shopping. (Yes, there was a time when I enjoyed school). Something about the entire process was thrilling to me. I loved going to Grand and Toy or Staples to browse all of the latest stationery (that was a thing). My parents loved taking me too, but that was most likely because they couldn’t wait to have me out of the house.

As an adult now, I realize how expensive back to school shopping is, and I don’t even have kids. It’s so easy to overshop (I still have stacks of lined paper at my parent’s house), and to get caught up with trends. These days it’s even more expensive with kids wanting all the newest gadgets which costs much more than a box of pens (even the neon ones) so PC Financial came up with their 5 back to school saving tips

back to school saving tips

Stay on trend with affordable fashion

My parents were smart enough to never buy into trends. I never got new outfits whenever it was time to go back to school. I can’t imagine parents spending money on new outfits every single year, that’s a lot of wasted money. That being said, Joe Fresh offers well-designed clothes at a fraction of the price compared to other name brand places. PC Financial probably has a bias towards Joe Fresh since they’re both owned by the same parent company (Loblaw), but I can vouch for the quality since I personally shop there on a regular basis.

Come up with lunchbox ideas together

I hate to admit it, but as a child, there were times where I would toss out my lunch because I simply didn’t want it. I would go most of the day hungry, but make up for it when I got home with a giant snack. It’s not a knock against mom and dad, but sometimes I was just looking for variety. Food waste is a huge problem, so if you talk to your kids about what they like to eat, you can avoid any sunk costs. Of course, you’ll also want to talk to them about healthy food options. The idea is that kids who help pick out their own meals will be much more inclined to eat them.

Don’t double up supplies

As mentioned, my parents now have an unlimited supply of lined paper due to my poor planning as a student. The reason this happens is that kids don’t exactly keep track of what supplies they have, or they’ll assume they need certain supplies at home and at school which is not cost effective. Try to keep one area in the home as a work area for school so all the supplies are in one place. If you have multiple children, you may want to make an inventory count before heading out to buy supplies. They may not want to share a pair of scissors, but they’ll get over it.

Stay tech-savvy

Back to school saving tips are useless if you end up blowing your budget on a high priced item. Buying the right gadgets for kids is one of the trickiest things for parents, especially for those who don’t know anything about technology. Here’s my best advice, your kids don’t need a new cell phone or laptop every year. If they want new “toys” every year, make them save for it. Laptops and cell phones aren’t exactly cheap. That being said, make sure you’re getting the best rates possible for your digital service. Look at your current wireless, internet, and TV plans to see if it’s still the right fit or if you can reduce/bundle them to save money.

Maximize value with points

PC Financial obviously believes in pushing their PC Financial World Elite MasterCard since it gives you additional PC points when shopping at certain Loblaw-owned brands (No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart, Joe Fresh, etc.), but the idea is solid regardless of what credit card you use. Getting points or cashback is a great way to save on everyday purchases, but that only works if you’re paying your entire credit card bill on time every month. No rewards are ever worth paying interest for.

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