Getting ready to go back to school? Better Business Bureau Serving Acadiana reminds local consumers that families are expected to spend more this summer than last year on school supplies.
Nationally, the average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $673.57 on apparel, shoes, electronics and supplies, according to the National Retail Federation in 2016. That's up 9.6 percent from $630.36 the prior year.
Of course, not everyone will spend that much, but before you dive into buying new clothes and supplies, check out these back-to-school budget tips from BBB:
- Start With Trust®. Always check with BBB before shopping for the 2017-2018 school year.
- Check at home first. After you receive the supply list from your child’s school, do a home inventory list. It is always wise because you may already have several needed items from prior school years.
- Create a budget. Go to the Internet and sign up for sales alerts from your favorite stores. Consider buying basic supplies (like notebooks, folders and pencils) at discount stores, such as the dollar store. Watch the ads for coupons and don’t forget to check price matching policies.
- Make a shopping list. Even if you don’t know the exact school supply list, you should get an idea of school clothing and other basic school needs. Beware of impulse buying.
- Plan ahead for expensive items. Occasionally, schools may require students have more expensive items such as laptop or notebook computers. Plan ahead for these “big ticket” items to avoid busting your budget. Many stores offer student and teacher discounts on items like laptops and uniforms. Retailers will be trying to make room for fall fashion and the newest models, so there are incredible savings to be had on older items.
- Look for back to school sales and compare prices. Be sure to review ads for restrictions on quantities, and dates for sale and return policies. When online shopping, read the fine print for return and exchange policies and take advantage of free shipping specials.
- Network with other parents and find out if there is a uniform exchange through your kid’s school. This can be a great way to recycle your gently used items and save money on the things you need this year. Also, research the potential savings of buying school supplies in bulk and splitting the cost with other parents in your area.
“Look for the Seal” and Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana is a private non-profit organization that strives for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.
Please contact Better Business Bureau at (337) 981-3497 or at bbb.org 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America. Consumers can also sign up for our free BBB “Scoop” eNewsletter by visiting bbb.org and clicking on the “Programs & Services” tab.
BBB Serving Acadiana covers the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.