For the kids, back-to-school shopping is somewhat of a holiday.

New clothes, accessories (aka the newest Paw Patrol backpack), and tons of colorful school supplies is a recipe for excitement. I mean, who could blame them? I’m almost 25 and I thoroughly enjoy strolling through the office supplies aisle, especially if there’s a sale.

But sometimes all that excitement leads to an unpleasant surprise at the checkout counter. (We’ve all been there. Two words: Paper Source.) To prevent you from burning through your wallet, we reached out to the experts at Chase Freedom for some tips on how to get the most bang for your buck while back-to-school shopping.  

1. Check out your credit card rewards and offers.

Make sure to double check offers and cash back rewards attached to your credit cards. For example, Chase Freedom cardmembers can earn five percent cash back when they shop at Walgreens from July 1 to September 30. This way you can maximize your spending and get back-to-school shopping done earlier and skip the end-of-August crowds. 

2. Make a list and stick to it.

Sit down with your kids and make a list of essential items they’ll need or ideally want. Sometimes getting the items from your kids before they get distracted at the store will lead to a more cost-efficient back-to-school shopping trip. Also, be sure to check their class website or list provided by their teacher to decipher what is actually needed vs. new items your kids want.

3. Follow your top retailers.

Stay in the know! Follow your go-to retailers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to stay up-to-date on sales and contests. This way you’ll know the best times to head to the store.

4. Buy in bulk with classmates or friends.

You can usually get a better deal on items like pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, and tissue packs when you buy them in bulk. But you also don’t want to buy in bulk and then have all those extra items sit around for months. When you buy in bulk with friends you can alleviate your overall costs. Plus when your children are in the same grade or class, they'll usually need the same supplies anyway.

5. Skip unnecessary items.

Kids love having their own supplies, but things like pencil sharpeners, rulers, or miscellaneous art supplies (such as colored pencils or markers) are usually staple classroom items for teachers as well. Try to avoid buying these items unless their teacher specifically requests them.

These back-to-school tips were provided by the experts at Chase Freedom.

Where’s your favorite place to get the best back-to-school shopping deals? Let us know in the comment section below!

This article was originally written for Our Community Now at Maryland by Tabitha Britt.

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