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9 More Ways to Maximize Back to School Savings

Did you know that back to school time is the second biggest shopping time of the year behind the holidays?

Yesterday, Amanda shared some Back-to-School Shopping Tips to Stretch Your Budget [1].

Today we’re taking it a step further to pile on the back to school savings.

Maximize Back to School Savings

  1. Maximize Reward Programs. If you are shopping online for clothes and supplies, don’t forget to use your rewards programs like Ebates [2] and Mr. Rebates [3]. Many of the rewards programs are offering bonuses during back to school shopping, like double cash back at Ebates.
  2. Review Rock Bottom Price List. In the forum at Hot Coupon World, there’s a list that maintains all of the back to school price lists [4] from 2007-2010. You’ll be able to spot deals easily when you know your price target is $0.05 for a compass or $0.01 for a folder.
  3. State Sales Tax Holidays. Time your shopping with the 2010 state sales tax holidays [5] to save even more money on your back to school shopping.
  4. Free Money. Citi is offering a $50 Sign Up Bonus [6] to kick off the school season, which should buy a lot of school supplies at rock bottom prices!
  5. Free Shipping. Don’t forget students can sign up for a year of free Amazon Prime [7] to get free fast shipping on school supplies.
  6. Credit Card Rewards. Maximize credit cards reward cash back [8] with back to school promos. For example, since I have credit cards that pay a higher cash back at drugstores and grocery stores, I’ll go there first for school supplies if the prices are the same as the other stores.
  7. Review College Savings. Each fall is a great time to review your asset allocation for your college savings and take advantage of savings plans with college bonuses like the Sallie Mae Savings Account 10% Upromise Match [9].
  8. Review Your Dependent Care Account. If your plans change for after school care in the fall, you can make a change to your dependent care account. Qualifying events are more liberal than FSAs [10] and include a change in provider or a change in cost. Make sure you are maximizing your dependent care tax savings.
  9. Save The School Supply List for Next Year. Many school districts don’t put out the school supply list early enough to get the best deals. I’ll be cutting out the list this year and saving it for next year when my oldest will begin kindergarten; I would guess that the majority of the list will be the same.