It’s my second “official” back-to-school session.
Preschool is pretty low maintenance, but Cub started kindergarten last year and now he’s moving onto the big leagues. His little sister is starting preschool, and luckily all of his hand-me-down gear is going to suit her just fine.
I’m not too stressed about the expenses right now, but talk to me in five years when all four of my kids need back-to-school gear.
3 Ways to Save While You Shop
1 – Shop & Earn
You know me: I love to buy second-hand. It’s my number one way to save on almost everything I need for my kids. Alas, most school supplies aren’t much use once they’ve been used, so there’s the annual trip to Staples to tick off that school-provided list of required supplies.
But it’s 2018! So I can make that trip from the comfort of my living room, on my phone!
Now that Cub is wearing size 6, I find the pickings VERY slim for pants in all my favourite thrift stores. My hypothesis is that most boys wear through their pants at this age and size, so they never make it to the second-hand racks. I usually stock up on comfy pants for my son at Old Navy, and hope they’re still long enough come July. And since he seems to be gentler than the average kid on his clothes, at least I get to back the outgrown clothes away for his siblings!
I use the Swagbucks app and website to earn cash back when I shop at Staples, Old Navy, Amazon and other online retailers. I can cash out my Swagbucks for gift cards or send it straight to Paypal.
If you’re not getting cash back on purchases you already make, you’re missing out! Swagbucks has already awarded more than $285M to members!
2 – Save before you shop.
Did you know there are ways to buy discounted gift cards? So for example, you get a $50 gift card but you only pay $45 out of pocket.
We do this through my husband’s employer, who has “group buy” offers for gift cards to various retailers. We always take advantage of the one for our favourite grocery store. I’ve also seen these kind of offers as fundraisers for schools and other organizations.
Remember that a lot of credit cards also offer points or cash back that can be used towards gift certificates, as do some travel rewards programs. If you’re like me and realize you and your four kids aren’t getting on a plane together any time soon, may as well use those points for something!
There’s also MyGiftCardsPlus.ca, a site that gives cash back for gift card purchases, so you can save up to 10% before you’ve even set foot (or mouse) in the store. Plus, you can shop at MyGiftCardsPlus using the Swagbucks app, then use that gift card to pay at a Swagbucks affiliate store … that’s a triple-stack of savings.
2 – Coupons without the clipping!
Quadruplets aren’t on my wishlist, but quadruple the savings sounds appealing. You can find coupons for your back-to-school shopping using deal sites like Redflagdeals. You can even install the SwagButton in your internet browser, and it will hunt down coupons like 10-20% off or even free shipping!
3 Ways to Earn Extra Money So You Can Shop
1 – Answer surveys
Something about my Type A personality makes me love answering surveys. When I’m trying to stay awake while feeding one of the twins in the middle of the night, I use the SB Answer App (iOS/Android). Each survey pays in Swagbucks, which I can use for gift cards or PayPal cash.
Before I had kids I also did local focus groups and got paid in crisp $50 bills or more. You can use sites like Greenbook.org to find focus groups to participate in if they work with your childcare schedule!
2 – Run Errands
There might be a way to combine the errands you already do with those that other people need doing! I haven’t tried it yet because I have enough on my plate … but sites like TaskRabbit help match people who need stuff done with people who can get those things done! And if you want to pet-sit or dog-walk, there are sites like Rover.com that will help you find those jobs!
3 – Have Fun
If you love trivia, the new SwagIQ App lets you earn cash and win prizes for answering trivia correctly! Trivia night at the bar is fun … but entails paying a babysitter and getting dressed. You can play SwagIQ on your phone from the comfort of your couch.
So there you have it!
You can save while you shop and earn to shop, and hopefully take a bit of the sting out of the back-to-school shopping bills!
Join SwagBucks today using my referral link!
What are your best tips for back-to-school savings?