10 Smart Ways To Save On Back To School Shopping In 2024

Itishree Parmar
August 11, 2023
10 Smart Ways To Save On Back To School Shopping In 2024

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T he 2024 back-to-school season in America has returned with unprecedented challenges due to inflation, and rising gas prices.

Back-to-school spending in the United States has gradually increased year-on-year and is reached to $890 per household in 2023.

As a result, American citizens find it difficult to afford school and college supplies, and the overall buying capacity has declined significantly. 

However, fear not, as we are here to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to tackle this challenge without breaking the bank. 

In this blog, we will walk you through practical and effective strategies that will save you money and also ensure a smooth and stress-free shopping experience.

Impact Of Inflation On Back-To-School Spending

Inflation’s adverse effects on Americans’ quality of life extend to back-to-school shopping.

The cost of essential school supplies has surged, leaving families concerned about managing expenses. 

As inflation continues to drive prices higher, families are expected to spend 10% less in 2024 for back-to-school, with an average spend of $597 per child. 

Parents prioritize essential supplies over non-essential purchases like technology and clothing.

Financial concerns have made consumers more price-sensitive, seeking bargains and discounts. 

Despite these challenges, some parents are willing to splurge on higher-quality products.

Cash usage for purchases has increased to 77% due to budget constraints. 

Overall, back-to-school spending is influenced by inflation and consumer shopping preferences, leading to cautious spending habits in 2024.

10 Savvy Strategies To Save Money This Back To School Season

1. Creating A Budget And Shopping List

The first step to efficient back-to-school shopping is to create a well-thought-out budget and shopping list.

By setting a clear spending limit and prioritizing essential items, you can avoid impulse purchases and stay focused on what your child truly needs for the upcoming school year.

Stick to your list and be disciplined throughout the shopping process, ensuring you don’t overspend on unnecessary items.

2. Utilizing Student Discounts

As a parent of a student, you can take advantage of various student discounts retailers offer.

Some brands that’ll help you save a lot of money on back to school supplies are Amazon, Etsy, Walmart, Rakuten, and Macy’s.

Always inquire about these discounts at the checkout or look for online promo codes specifically designed for students.

These discounts can significantly reduce your overall shopping expenses, making it a win-win situation for both you and your child.

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3. Comparing Prices Online

Online shopping has revolutionized the way we make purchases.

It allows us to compare prices across different platforms with ease.

In 2024, more than 70% of consumers in the United States preferred to do comparative shopping online when buying school supplies.

Take advantage of price comparison websites and browser extensions to find the best deals on school supplies, electronics, and textbooks, including exclusive back to school sales.

Spending extra time comparing prices can lead to substantial savings in the long run.

4. Waiting For Markdowns

Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to back to school shopping.

If your child’s school allows some flexibility in the initial weeks, consider waiting for back to school sales and markdowns. 

Retailers often offer discounts on school supplies and clothing as the school year progresses.

By postponing your shopping slightly, you can take advantage of these markdowns and enjoy substantial savings.

5. Buying Used Textbooks And Electronics

Textbooks and electronics are often some of the most expensive items on your back-to-school shopping list.

Consider buying used textbooks and refurbished electronics to cut down on costs. 

Many online platforms and bookstores offer secondhand textbooks that are still in excellent condition.

Similarly, reputable electronics retailers often sell certified refurbished devices at a fraction of the price of new ones.

Don’t forget to explore back to school laptop deals as well, as there are discounts on new and refurbished tech and organization.

6. Keeping Receipts For Price Adjustments

Always hold onto your receipts after making purchases.

Some retailers offer price adjustment policies, meaning if the price of an item drops shortly after your purchase, you can request a refund for the price difference.

This practice ensures you don’t miss out on any unexpected discounts and can get the best possible deal on your purchases.

7. Exploring Secondhand Options

Consider exploring secondhand stores or online marketplaces for school supplies, back-to-school clothes, and clothing.

You can often find gently used items at significantly lower prices, making it an eco-friendly and cost-effective choice. 

Thrift stores and online platforms like Freecycle.com, Poshmark can be excellent resources for finding free or low-cost supplies and back to school dress.

8. Maximizing Rewards With Apps

In today’s digital age, numerous apps can help you save even more money on your back-to-school shopping.

Apps like Rakuten, Fetch Rewards offer rewards for uploading receipts from various purchases.

By scanning your receipts, you can accumulate points that can be redeemed for gift cards or discounts, stretching your budget even further.

9. Seeking Free School Supplies

For low-income families or those facing financial challenges, seeking free school supplies can be a significant relief. 

Organizations like the Salvation Army and Boys and Girls Clubs of America often run back-to-school supply drives, distributing free school essentials to those in need.

These initiatives can be a valuable resource for families striving to provide their children with the necessary supplies.

10. Engaging With Brands On Social Media

Follow your favorite brands on social media platforms to stay updated on giveaways, contests, and promo codes.

Many companies run special promotions or offer exclusive discounts to their social media followers.

By engaging with these brands, you can potentially win free supplies or access exclusive deals, further optimizing your back-to-school budget.


Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to be an overwhelming and financially draining experience.

By employing these practical strategies, you can make smart choices and achieve significant savings on school supplies, textbooks, and electronics. 

Embracing these money-saving and eco-friendly practices will not only benefit your family but also set an inspiring example for the younger generation to be mindful consumers and responsible stewards of the environment. 

So, are you ready to make a difference this back-to-school season? 

Happy shopping and happy saving!


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