HERE are hints to help parents save a few bucks and stay organized during the school year:
1. Know what you really need: Before you go shopping, plan what you need. It might not be as much as you think. First, take inventory of what you have already. Remember to check backpacks, desks and bedrooms to take stock of usable supplies left over from last year. It helps to make a list of items, even the small stuff and quantities for each.
2. Keep things in order: Use the tools at your fingertips. Create a folder for each of your kids with his or her teacher’s name and e-mail address. Buy overlapping items in bulk. Use a spreadsheet or make it fun with an app such as Family Organizer to keep lists of things you need.
3. Budget: The average family spends $634 in school supplies, according to the National Retail Federation. When you make your list, create a budget and keep track of your purchases. Stick to your budget so you don’t overspend.
4. Find free shipping: If you shop online, look for free shipping deals.
5. Make a daily routine: Set a daily routine for your family. Designate a spot for backpacks and stock a homework station with the right supplies. With a system well established, your family can be off to a great start for the next chapter.
6. Save for future education while you shop: You can get 5 percent or more of your eligible online purchases back and your earnings can go toward college savings with Upromise by Sallie Mae. Your cash rewards may be deposited into a Sallie Mae High-Yield Savings Account, transferred into a 529 college savings plan or simply requested via a check. It’s free to sign up at www.Upromise.com.
North American Precis Syndicate