Make us your home page
Instagram

Daily Q&A: Can you provide some back to school shopping tips?

What school shopping tips do you have to help me stay within a budget?

Of course everyone's looking for deals these days, so here are some tips for school shopping offered to us from ShopSmart magazine. These tips will appear in the magazine's September 2010 issue:

• Consider swapping. If the search of your desk drawer turns up things you no longer have use for, swap them for things you do need. Call other moms, or go to Swapmamas.com. Click on School & Office to see listings from people who have stuff and people who need stuff.

• Skip taxes. Many states offer tax-free shopping days in August to encourage spending on clothes. You might find information about your state by searching the Internet with your state and "tax holiday 2010." Some states extend the discount to supplies and computers. (Florida's tax free weekend is Aug. 13 to 15 and applies to school supplies, books, clothing and footwear.)

• Buy in bulk. Warehouse clubs are great places to load up, but so are online stores like RaymondGeddes.com and DiscountSchoolSupply.com – just remember that shipping costs can add up if you don't order in bulk.

• Consider refurbs. Whether you need a laptop or your kid needs a fancy graphing calculator, refurbished or opened but unused products can save you hundreds of dollars. Check Amazon.com, Crutchfield.com, Dell.com/outlet, and SonyStyle.com/outlet.

• Be strategic. Shopping the sales at a lot of stores could save you big bucks, but it's a huge waste of time. Instead, search circulars online at YahooCircularCentral.shoplocal.com and SundaySaver.com. Then shop at stores with price-matching policies, such as Staples, Target and Walmart.

• Go to school. Ask whether your child's school has a supply program where you buy one box with everything your kid needs for the year. Staples claims its SchoolKidz program offers savings of 20 to 50 percent.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: Can you provide some back to school shopping tips? 07/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 2:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Richard Corcoran takes aim at public financing of campaigns

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, may not be running for governor — not yet anyway — but his latest idea will get the attention of those who are.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes, is proposing an end to public financing of campaigns. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Related Group breaks ground on complex at old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — When Miami developer Jorge Perez first eyed a 4.2-acre tract on the west bank of the Hillsborough River two years ago, people asked him if he wouldn't prefer to build on the opposite side closer to the downtown core.

    No way.

    From left, Related Group executive associate Arturo Penaa, Jorge Perez, center, founder and CEO of the Related Group, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Steve Patterson, the President of Related Development dig their shovels  during the groundbreaking ceremony of the 400 unit Riverwalk Manor apartment complex on site of the old Tampa Tribune building on Wednesday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
  3. Eat 3-course meals for $35 at these 100 restaurants for Orlando's Magical Dining Month

    Food & Dining

    In the early 1900s, hotels offered "table d'hote" or "prix fixe" menus as a form of loss leader. Hotels didn't necessarily make money on these lower-priced, multi-course meals, often served at communal tables, but they made up for it on the booze. Prohibition may have contributed to a gradual shift toward a la carte …

    Bulla Gastrobar serves a variety of Spanish and Portuguese dishes.
  4. Plant City farmer hopes robot pickers can save strawberry industry from shrinking labor force

    Agriculture

    PLANT CITY — If current trends continue, the region's status as a major strawberry producer will depend in large part on what happens in Mexico.

    Strawberry pickers work during the daytime, when fruit is more likely to bruise. Machine pickers can work at night. The owner of Wish Farms in Plant City is developing automated pickers and hopes to see them at work on a widespread basis in five years. [Times file]
  5. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman sells house for $3 million to new player

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman's multi-million Davis Islands home is staying in the Lightning family. Yzerman sold his 6,265-square-foot house Monday to new defenseman Dan Girardi for $3 million.

    The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman sold for $3 million Monday to Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi. | [Courtesy of Hi Res Media]