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How to shop for back-to-school (without breaking the bank!)

Half the fun (okay, most of the fun) of going back to school is getting an excuse to buy new clothes, shoes and supplies. There are plenty of good deals this time of year, but it can be hard to stay on budget. Not to worry: Here are 5 tips on getting what you need for school, without breaking the bank.

1. Seek Out Sales

Stores will traditionally have back-to-school sales from early August to the end of the month. Whether you need your parents to spring for a computer or you're shelling out your summer cash for that killer skirt, sales will help you save some of your money for other purchases. Check the websites of your fave stores—sales will often be announced there, including those that are online-only.

2. Try To Shop Early

There's more than one benefit to re-stocking your closet a few weeks before school. You get to snag cute items before they're bought up by other shoppers, and you can catch discounts before they end. This is especially true for supplies—$1 notebooks and 2-for-the-price-of-1 binders only last so long.

3. Prioritize What You Need Now

It's impossible to get your entire wardrobe in one shopping trip. Focus on what's currently missing from your closet before you go after a newer version of your old fave. While it's always good to have a quality coat on hand, many stores don't put out winter clothes until further into September. It's better to focus on end-of-summer and fall apparel, which you'll be rockin' for the next two or three months.

4. Set a Price Limit

If your parents are the ones funding your shopping trip, they've probably already set a price for your spree. But if not, make sure to come up with a number you're comfortable with. Having a budget in mind before you hit up the store will keep you from going overboard. Another tip? Ask yourself if you'll wear the new duds more than once. If the answer's no, keep looking for a more worthwhile purchase.

5. Compare

This tip is especially easy if you prefer to do most of your shopping online. While stores like Forever 21 and Old Navy have unique collections and styles, there is *some* overlap. So, make sure to check different websites for similar items—especially basics like camisoles, denim shorts and plain t-shirts. If you do your homework, you'll make sure you get the best deals. 

At the end of the day, confidence is what really shines through, no matter what you wear. Happy back-to-school shopping!

What's your favorite place to go back to school shopping? Drop a line in the comments below!

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by Bailey Bujnosek | 8/2/2019
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