BBB back to school shopping tips: set a budget, shop smart

BBB back to school shopping tips: set a budget, shop smart
Back-to-school spending may reach a new record with anticipated spending in more laptops and computer accessories driving the costs. (Source: wbtv)

The following information was provided by the Better Business Bureau:

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Back-to-school season is coming up, and each school district in Louisiana is deciding whether they will continue virtual learning, a hybrid model of learning, or in-person learning for the Fall semester.

As families prepare for the upcoming school year and the possibility of homeschooling or an online format, the National Retail Federation studies indicate back-to-school spending may reach a new record with anticipated spending in more laptops and computer accessories driving the costs.

-Parents with elementary through high school children are expected to spend an average of $789.49, topping the previous record of $696.70 from last year. Overall spending is expected to total $33.9 billion, up from $26.2 billion last year and breaking the record of $30.3 billion set in 2012.

Before determining what students may need for the year, be prepared for a shift from one teaching format to another, and set a budget. Plan ahead as much as you can, so you can help keep expenses to a minimum and help everyone stay on task for what could be an interesting 2020-2021 school year.

BBB offers school supply shopping tips-6:30am

TIPS:

In Person Shopping: Retailers are taking extra precautions as they reopen to customers. as they try to recover from the financial hit of the lockdown earlier this year while following local health department guidelines. When it comes to trying on the latest fall fashions or the right fit for school uniforms, parents may want to contact the retailer ahead of time to check on the dressing room procedures or if the dressing rooms are open. You may want to follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your items when you get home.

Research big ticket items: Check with your child’s school to find out their technology requirements, and determine if you need to purchase high-speed internet, OR if the school system will provide parents the technology. Before purchasing an expensive laptop, tablet or other computer accessory, research the brands, warranty, customer reviews and the prices at various stores to make certain the best deal can be had. Also, look up the retailer’s reputation on BBB.org.

Shop smart with sales and tax-free weekends: Compare prices between different retail stores, save coupons, sign up for email alerts and redeem any cash-back or rebate offers. This will help get the best deals and stay within budget.

Ask for discounts: Many stores and software companies offer discounts. Some of them are available to students that have either an .edu email address or a student ID. Others may have a discount for signing up for marketing materials, or surf the internet for online coupons and discounts. Make certain they are affiliated the retailer they are advertising for. Even if you don’t see a discount advertised at the store, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Consider buying in bulk: If meeting in person, some teachers may ask parents to buy bulk items (think paper towels, tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer) for the entire classroom to use throughout the year. Compare lists with other parents and see if costs can be shared.

Shop wisely, safely online: When shopping online, be wary of click bait ads that feature items that imply that you may want or need it based on the search history. The intended purpose is to drive you to a different website to potentially steal personal information. Take note of the ad and go to the store’s website by directly typing into the search bar. Make note of the website’s privacy policy, contact information, and always use a credit card when making a purchase.

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