While some schools are already back on campus, others are still in the preparation phase. That means there is still time for last-minute shopping. As the country faces high inflation and school supply shortages, there are ways to you can save this year.
Backpacks, notebooks, and pencils... the back-to-school shopping list can really add up at the cash register, but with inflation prices and many stores still facing production issues, Consumer Reports Deals Editor Samantha Gordon says there are still back-to-school deals to be had.
“We are still seeing some of those residual disruptions that are impacting shipping times and inventory levels, but you can still find savings,” Gordon said.
Gordon says you should plan ahead and says one of the first steps in the planning process is to create a budget. She says doing so could motivate you to compare prices online before you shop.
“Just knowing what your options are allows you to make much smarter purchasing decisions,” Gordon said.
Also, spread out your shopping by checking stores that are not major retailers
“When it comes to a budget, choosing the right stores based on how much you’ll be able to save can really make a big difference and don’t discredit places like office supply stores and wholesalers,” Gordon said.
If you are in the market for electronics, consider buying refurbished products. She stresses, make sure to look for a ‘certified’ used model from a reputable seller.
“That can be a great way to get a good chunk of savings and the product should function just as well as something that’s brand new out of the box.”
And after you have made all your back-to-school purchases, keep an eye out for sales.
“If you see a price drop, you may be able to get a partial refund. You just have to reach out to customer service and ask them. You usually have a two week window if they have a policy in place and if they don’t, they might be able to work with you or you might just be able to return that product and buy it again for that sale price,” Gordon said.