9 high-tech ways to save money on school supplies
Shopping for crayons, glue, and notebooks is as fun as ever. If you like your devices, it’s getting even funner.
Here are nine ways to save big bucks on your back-to-school bill, without leaving the comfort of your jammies.
1. Cash in Your Old Electronics
Got to Nextworth.com and check to see how much your kaput devices — like calculators, cell phones, and computers — are worth. Now, if you turn them into certain Target stores, you can get a gift card, which you apply toward school supplies. Go to Target.Nextworth to check to see if your store is participating.
2. Open a School Supply Registry
Don’t laugh. The beauty of registries is that they eliminate the burden of unwanted Stuff. With MyRegistry.com, you can add items from any website on the Internet. This is a great option for teachers, families with several school-age kids, and for web-savvy grandparents who want to help their little students get ready for school.
3. Get Social
Twitter and Facebook are great places to find deals offered to a brand’s social-media fan base, says consumer and money-saving expert, Andrea Woroch. “Like” or “Follow” the merchant and keep an eye out for coupons and sales announcements.
4. Compare Prices on Your Couch
My favorite shopping site is Google Product Search. Just type in what you’re looking for and it will show you a bunch of companies who sell it, for how much, and even if they have a store nearby with the item in stock.
5. Get Instant Cash Back
Don’t buy anything online without seeing if you can get a quick rebate through sites like Ebates or Upromise. Upromise by Sallie Mae is a rebate site focused on giving you discounts and cash back for college on all kinds of products including back-to-school supplies.
6. Don’t Forget Those Easy-Peasy Coupon Codes
It takes just a second to open another browser window and check for promotion codes. I usually use RetailMeNot, and I end up finding a working coupon about half the time. Not bad for a two-second stop.
7. Compare Prices on the Fly
I only use my cell phone for emergencies, but Andrea Woroch says you can tap into your mobile phone for savings when you are out and about with apps like RedLaser. Red Laser allows you to scan bar codes and look for cheaper prices online or at other retailers.
8. Get Sales Flyers by E-Mail
“Big stores like Staples and Kmart have huge sales on school supplies,” says Meghan Hammond, a teacher in Cape Cod, Mass, but you have to time it right. if you don’t want to stop by the store to pick up the circular, just sign up to receive weekly deals by e-mail. (You can always unsubscribe when the season’s over.)
To get you started, here’s the sign-up form for Staples and OfficeMax.
9. Buy a Discounted Gift Card
Unused gift cards sold at below-market value are being called the new coupons by Donna Freedman at Get Rich Slowly. There are a bunch of gift card aggregators out there, but Donna recommends trying Gift Card Granny for the deepest discounts. Don’t find what you need? Maybe you could sell one of your dusty cards and use the proceeds to buy a new pack of pencils.
I like how bringing back-to-school shopping into the modern age can spice things up, as well as cut down on our bils.
Do you have favorite ways to use technology to save on school shopping?
Amy Suardi loves to write about ways that save money and make people happy on her blog, Frugal Mama.
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