Whether you are buying t-shirts, jeans or a new pair of shoes single moms everywhere are gearing up and getting ready for the back to school shopping season. For those that are on a budget and looking for everyday value, I have partnered with our friends at JCPenney to put together this quick guide for beating the back to school shopping blues. Texans are getting ready for the annual Tax Free shopping weekend and I want to show you how to maximize your savings. JCPenney helps to make it #soWorthIt and you can follow along on social media for the latest in tips and styles with the same hashtag – #SoWorthIt
If you are looking to be on-trend with a lot less effort at a great value, get on board with these tips and you’ll be dancing around with back to school excitement and savings.
Make a List
Create a list of what your kids will need for back to school fashion and accessories. Two of my children wear school uniforms so I always make sure they have a full week of everything because I am very busy with work during the week to be able to do laundry more than twice a week. My school uniform list for each child includes:
My older daughter doesn’t require a uniform so I have used some of these online shopping lists as a guideline in planning her back to school wear. SheKnows.com has put together a great back to school shopping list so that you can stay on target and within budget.
Planning a budget
Check your finances and see what your overall budget is. To determine your budget take your list of must haves and scan shopping sites like JCPenney to determine the pricing for those items. Create a spreadsheet if you have to. Then take your list of nice to haves and do the same thing to come up with a budget. This is a great starting point and depending upon whether more money comes in or less you can adjust your budget as well. For many single parents, August is the toughest time of year for finances because of school fees and back to school shopping but if you plan well you can be ahead of the game. If you are interested in using a convenient app to do it for you I would recommend this paid app called Money Monitor. It’s an account, budget, bill, checkbook and cashflow Manager by Maxwell Software and it is priced as of this writing at $1.99.
Online Shopping and Deals
Begin browsing online at your favorite retailers and sign up for their email newsletters where you can score a coupon just for signing up. You will also get notified about weekly specials. Check if they have a rewards program like JCPenney Rewards and sign up for great deals. If you will be shopping with credit, consider looking into store credit card promotional offers but please be sure to pay it off once the promotional period is over. Know what’s in store or online before you buy. At JCPenney you can also pick up in store so what I like to do is pick it up and try it on in store when I pick it up. If it doesn’t fit I can easily return or exchange it since I am in the store .
Check if your credit card has a cashback option or a double cash back offer at certain retailers. It’s great to use a card that gives you that option and still remain in budget. You can also check cashback sites such as ebates so that you can get a percentage of those purchases back. This is my favorite way to shop and it helps to itemize your receipts.
You can use online coupons but read the fine print and combine the savings with cash back features for extra value, but exercise caution. Some coupon codes disqualify the order for cash back benefits, so read the cash back site’s coupon details very carefully. Also make sure you use any in store coupons that you find.
Buy More Than One
I wish I would do this more often. Buy more than one of the same item for things you wouldn’t normally buy more than one of. It’s a comfortable shoe, buy more than one pair. If it’s a comfortable pants – purchase more than one of the same pants. Ultimately nothing beats comfort and same day savings.
Whether your kids wear a school uniform or if they get to put on some unique digs for school they will be in style with JCPenney. As a special treat, JCPenney put together this video featuring Alfonso Ribeiro. He is showing off his dance moves with JCPenney as we head back to school. Featuring the music of Meghan Trainor, it really helps you get into the mood of back to school shopping. Check out the video and let me know how you plan on shopping this year for Back To School. Remember this weekend is Tax Free Weekend in Texas so your purchases for back to school under $100 individually (with restrictions) are sales tax free. Enjoy this video from JCPenney.