Published: June 22, 2018 | Updated: April 21, 2021 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Personal Finance
Shopping for school supplies means different things to students and parents. Kids look forward to having new stuff when they go back to school, while their parents get all busy and stressed trying to provide everything needed for school.
This challenge gets all the more difficult, as school supplies get more expensive each year. Despite that, you can still stretch your tight budget for your back-to-school shopping. All you need are some practical strategies to save money on school supplies.
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Make an inventory of your children’s school supplies from last year. For sure, certain items are still in good condition, which means you don’t have to buy new ones. Check the bags, pencil cases, lunch boxes, scissors, rulers, etc. Sort those that can still be reused or recycled for another school year or two.
After you’ve determined what supplies can be reused, list down everything you need to buy for each of your children. Make sure each list is complete and be specific about the type, quantity, and even color of every item.
It’s best to wait for the teacher’s school supplies list at the start of the school year and then integrate it with your own before you go shopping. Also, if you’ll buy supplies for two or more children, compile all shopping lists into one master list. Having just one list for buying school supplies can save you both time and money. No need to go back to a store to buy anything you’ve missed out. You’ll also avoid buying anything unnecessary.
Once you have your list of things to buy, write down the estimated price of each item and get their total. This will help you come up with a realistic budget for your back-to-school shopping. If the total cost is more than what you can actually afford, you’ll have to make a few adjustments on your list.
You can check the Department of Trade and Industry’s Gabay sa Pamimili ng School Supplies for the complete list of suggested retail prices (SRPs) of school supplies in the Philippines. This DTI price guide is very helpful for parents because knowing the SRPs can help them avoid buying overpriced products.
Flea markets or tiangges in Divisoria and Baclaran are the bargain hunters’ favorite shopping destinations, as they offer huge discounts of 10% to 50% for bulk purchases. Shoppers can also haggle to save more cash. No wonder these places get crowded every back-to-school season.
If you’ll buy school supplies for multiple children on a limited budget, go to these popular shopping districts in Metro Manila. They sell stuff at a lot cheaper prices than malls or department stores.
If sweating it out in the crowded Divisoria or Baclaran isn’t your thing, you can instead buy school supplies on sale in an air-conditioned bookstore or department store.
Search for back-to-school sales that usually start in May and last until the end of July. If you have a credit card, you can use it when shopping for school supplies to avail of exclusive discounts and promos.
For instance, using a BPI credit card, debit card, or prepaid card will get you up to 30% off on selected school supplies in all National Bookstore branches until July 15, 2018.
When you buy school uniforms at The SM Store with a Metrobank credit card (except for ON Internet Mastercard and Dollar Mastercard) until July 31, 2018, you’ll get an e-gift certificate that can be redeemed at any The SM Store branch, Petron gas station, or Pancake House restaurant.
To get the most value for your money when shopping for school supplies, compare not just prices but also sizes and quality. You aren’t saving money if you keep on buying new bags or shoes because the old ones got easily worn out.
Make sure to buy only bags, shoes, and uniforms that fit your kids comfortably. The supplies must also be durable and will last at least for the whole school year. Even the small details like the notebook’s pages must be checked to ensure that the lines are correctly printed.
Your money will quickly go down the drain if you aren’t careful and strategic when it comes to school supplies shopping. For more back-to-school money management tips for parents, check this article from MoneyMax.ph.
Venus is the Head of Content at Moneymax, with 15+ years of experience in digital marketing, corporate communications, PR, and journalism. She invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Outside of work, she’s crazy about cats and Korean dramas. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.