Back-to-School shopping shouldn’t break the bank

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    With Canadians planning to spend a staggering $883 on back-to-school preparation this year*, parents are already feeling the stress of the first test of the upcoming school year when it comes to finding deals. To help parents make wise spending decisions, BBB says doing homework ahead of time is key.

    “Between school supplies, new clothes and maybe some new sports equipment, back-to-school shopping adds up quickly, especially for families with multiple children,” says Mary O’Sullivan-Andersen, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. “Return and exchange policies may differ from store-to-store so it’s best to be clear about policies before making a purchase.”

    Ensure your spending decisions make the grade with these BBB savvy shopping tips:

    • Create a budget. A budget will help shape your shopping list and help limit purchases to only items you need. Knowing your budget will also allow you to put money towards larger items or a special purchase.

    • Create a shopping list. Make a list by child or by store to avoid multiple trips. Also take inventory of items you already have from the previous school year that you may be able to use again.

    • Research major purchases. When shopping for laptops, calculators, dorm refrigerators and other large purchases, do your homework. Research the brands you’re looking for to see what meets your expectations.

    • Don’t miss sales. Compare prices between different retail stores, save coupons and be sure to redeem cash-back or rebate offers. Sign-up for email alerts and download shopping apps for your favourite stores.

    • Buy in bulk. Some schools ask parents to buy items that will be used by the entire class (tissues, hand sanitizer, etc.). Get together with other parents to shop in bulk. Parents of college students can also buy in bulk for snacks, toiletries and other items for future “care packages.”

    • Save your receipts. You’ll need them if you want to make an exchange or return an item. Remember some items are non-refundable or have a limited return period.

    * Tis’ the Season…For Back-To-School that is!

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