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COLUMN: Back to school can be a time of real bargains

COLUMN: Back to school can be a time of real bargains

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Whether you are sending your preschooler off to kindergarten or your graduate off to college, I am sure that you have school supplies on your mind. This also can mean a large amount of money spent at once. With some simple tips, you can get everything your children need, and still have money left over.

  • Set a budget—Depending on how many children you have going back to school and what they need will give you an idea of what your budget should be. I always like to allow extra for expenses that come up as well. Once you set a budget, stick to it.
  • Sales and Coupons—Every week stores are beginning to place items on sale. Pay close attention to things on your list compared to the sales. If something is pennies on the dollar, buy more than one and store it away for later in the year. You will be happy you did, especially when your child needs that item in December.
  • Buy used—From books to clothing, you can save a lot of money by buying used items. Textbooks can cost you thousands of dollars a year, used could easily save you hundreds. If you know of people that have taken the class in the past, check with them to see if they would like to sell their textbooks. Use one of the several online websites that buy and sell textbooks as well. Some of these even give you the option to rent the textbook. Shop around for the best bargain. When your children are small, take advantage of the opportunity of buying a couple of new outfits and the rest used.
  • They will likely get stained, ripped and worn, so why start out with all new. Older children may like to purchase the used clothing for the uniqueness of it. Something old and different. But most importantly cheaper.
  • Reward Programs—Check out any reward program you may be linked to. Credit cards, online venders and retailers have apps to track rewards that you have collected. This will save you money, and allow you to spend the additional money for more school items, or maybe something nice for yourself!
  • Tax free weeks—Most states have tax free time frames where you can purchase clothing and or school supplies and pay no tax. Each state has specific information and rules to go by. Check out the states website for more information.

In my monthly class at The Post-Star, I go into detail about using coupons, saving money, finding monthly deals and how it will benefit your family and your pocket book! Free giveaways during the class as well. Please join me for my next class on Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. Feel free to call 518-742-3309.

Kimberly Butler is a busy mom, wife and child care provider who loves to save money. She lives in Queensbury with her family and her black lab Duke, and writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her at


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