Back to Class

It’s time to prep the kids with the gear—and mental attitude— to return to a routine of learning and activities.

Yes, it’s that time of year again, time for back-to-school shopping. This is especially true if you have one or two headed off to college dorms or apartments. No complaints, however; after the past two years, it’s good to just have a somewhat normalized routine again.

Still, from a new laptop to new clothes, back-to-school shopping can get pricey. Here are four ways to save on supplies, electronics and more from Rebecca Gramuglia, consumer expert at TopCashback.com.

• Stack your savings. Back-to-school sales have begun, and it’s important to take advantage of all opportunities to save—beyond the discounted sale price, if possible. Once you’ve made your shopping list, look to see what store has the lowest cost for each item. Check for any coupons or special offers associated with the item(s) to make sure you’re getting the best price.

• Pro-tip #1: Using the right credit card can help increase your savings even more. Review your credit card’s terms to determine which spending category can give you the most cash back or rewards, and be sure to use it when shopping for those items.

Pro-tip #2: Take advantage of student discounts at stores like American Eagle and Apple. Bring along your student ID when you shop and ask if the store offers student discounts if you’re unsure. You can also use programs like UNiDAYS and StudentRate to gain access to exclusive student discounts online.

• Opt to shop online. Shopping online can save you both time and money. In addition to any coupons or discounts you may find, using a cash back site, like TopCashback.com, can help you earn a percentage of your money back on qualifying purchases from back-to-school retailers like Amazon, Staples and Old Navy.

• Reuse whenever possible. Spending money on new backpacks or folders each year can get expensive, so try to reuse what you can. Before shopping, round up all of your school supplies and check off all the items on your shopping list that you already own. Take note of which items are too damaged to reuse and look for a more durable version of the item when you shop so you can reuse it next year. If you need textbooks, consider renting or buying them used from sites like Textbooks.com and ThriftBooks.com to save money and be more eco-friendly.

• Pro-tip: Get crafty! Try turning old supplies into new ones by decorating them with stickers, pins and keychains.