A Parentís Guide to Paying for Back-to-School Expenses

With your children wanting the latest and greatest athletic shoes and you trying to continuously clothe their growth spurts, the price tag can really add up. Texas CPAs recommend five ways to prepare for and save money on back-to-school expenses.

Take advantage of tax free holidays
During the tax free holiday, there is a $100 maximum cost per item on clothing, back packs and school supplies. Shoppers can save up to $8 on every $100 spent.

Make an inventory list
Take time to go through closets and have children try on clothes from last year to see what still fits, and what they can wear this year. This will keep you from over-buying items that still have value…Use this list to only buy what is necessary.

Create a budget and stick to it
Decide how much you are willing spend and use cash for all purchases. Leave the credit cards and checkbooks at home. This will force you to shop around for the best deal. What a relief it will be knowing that a bill won’t be coming in the mail.

Stack offers and deals
Many stores have additional discounts on top of back to school sales. For example some retailers will have an offer for an extra 10 to 15 percent if you bring in a flier or coupon… Always look for additional ways to save.

Use Coupons
Grab the Sunday paper, for the next couple of weeks and search the stack of coupons. Many stores are offering fantastic deals on clothes, supplies, electronics and food items.

Also, take a few minutes and go online and search for coupon sites. This is a great way to find stores that will match competitor deals.

Shop at discount stores
Going to dollar stores is a good place to find basic supplies. Pens, pencils, rulers, etc. at affordable prices