Tag Archives: back to school

Back to School by the Numbers, 2014

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey

Retailers should get a bigger boost from back-to-school shoppers this year, as a longer list of school supplies and larger demand for electronics are expected to drive spending higher during the second-biggest selling season of the year. CNBC.com

Total spending on BtS for 2014: $75 billion, up 3% from last year

  • Per family (K-12): $669 total, up 5%
  • School supplies: $101 per kid, up 12%
  • Number of items on school supply list: 18, up 30%
  • Spending on electronics: $212, up 7%
  • Per college student: $916, up 10%

I guess the takeaway here is that in every example, BtS spending will go up. Great for the economy, but not so great for your individual wallet!

So what can you do about it? Surf the web for savings tips!

Any savings tips to share? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook Page!

August Best Buys!

august-clipart-4Time for our monthly heads-up on the best deals! August shopping can be summed up in two ways: Back to School and End of Summer. These two notions that were a complete bummer for me as a kid. Seriously, I don’t know anyone who hated school more than I.

I’m pretty sure I have said this before but, as a kid, summer was like a long weekend. What was left of June after school let out was like Friday night. July was glorious, glorious Saturday. And August was Sunday, completely overshadowed by the dread of Going Back to School.

As an adult, although I don’t have kids, I get it. You are totally ready for school to start again. But it’s work – there’s so much to go out and buy! Fortunately, there are plenty of bargains to be had during the Dog Days. Here are some highlights, followed by some useful links:

  • Linens & Storage Containers
  • Office Furniture
  • Kids’ Clothing
  • School Supplies
  • Swimsuits
  • Air conditioners
  • Backpacks
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Snow blowers
  • Swingsets
  • Flip-flops
  • iPods and mp3 players
  • Plants and flowers

Much more detail at the original articles…

RealSimple: 5 products on deep discount in August

LifeHacker: The Best Time to Buy Anything During the Year

Consumer Reports: The Best Time to Buy Things

Business Insider: The Best Time to Buy Everything

So, what bargains will you be snapping up this August? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Sales Tax Summer Savings!

taxfreeWe talked previously about gearing up for the grind of back to school sales. But some folks in certain states – and ones nearby – will catch a break in the form of the annual sales tax holiday.

Forty-five states, the District of Columbia, and Guam impose sales taxes on the sale or lease of many goods. Of those forty-five states, just under half offer some sort of break on sales tax for school supplies, energy efficient appliances and hurricane preparedness. Most offer their holidays at the end of July or the beginning of August in order to attract back to school shoppers.  Yahoo Finance

So, where and when are the savings? Check it out:

  • THIS WEEKEND (7/26): Mississippi
  • Weekend of August 2: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
  • Weekend of August 9: Georgia, Texas
  • Aug 11-17 (Sunday-Saturday): Maryland
  • Aug 18- 24 (Sunday-Saturday): Connecticut

MUCH more detail at the original article!

When I first moved to SC from Ohio, many moons ago, was the first time I had heard of the tax holiday. (Note that Ohio is not on the list!) I have heard of big savings over the years, though. So, if you live in one of these states – or next door to one – saddle up for summer savings!

Have you done the tax holiday for back to school? Have any tales of big savings? Leave a comment at the MindField Online Facebook page. And have a great weekend!

Back to School “Creep”?

Pictured: Me.

Does it seem like the Back to School sales are starting earlier and earlier each year? Apparently, you’re not imagining it, according to Ad Age magazine.

Instead of merely waiting until August and then hoping that shoppers spend a lot of money at once, stores are having sales now to sell certain items in June and July with the idea that they’ll come back in August and spend some more, most likely on apparel.  Ad Age

The phenomenon has a name: “Back to School Creep.” Sort of like how the stores start putting out their Christmas displays the week before Halloween! I didn’t know this, but Back to School is the second biggest retail time of the year, second only to Christmas, and accounts for $84 billion in sales.

When I was a kid, I had an odd mindset during the summer: gradually increasing dread. I saw the summer as a long weekend. The piece of June left after school let out was Friday night. July was Saturday. And August was Sunday, when I could really feel the last of the sand leaving the hourglass before school started again. (PS…I HATED school.)  And those obnoxious Back to School sales at the mall didn’t help my mood at all!  But at least they waited until August. Today’s kids have it rough!

How about you? How much do you spend on Back to School? How soon do you start shopping? Do you think the retailers start pushing it too early? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page. And have a great weekend!

Back to $chool $pending

Are we properly capturing the misery?

Are you feeling 15% richer now than last August? I hope so, because that’s how much more we are going to spend to send our kids back to school this fall.

This year, the average family with students from kindergarten to 12th grade is expected to spend $689 on back-to-school supplies, up from $604 last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Parents estimate they will spend an average of $246 on clothes, $218 on electronics, $129 on shoes and $95 on school supplies, such as notebooks, pencils and backpacks. Chicago Tribune

So, how do you avoid getting cleaned out at the register? Here are some tips…

Do your homework: make a list, plan your trip, and stick to it. Also, look around the house. Do you need to buy a pack of ten ink pens? Don’t you have 50 lying around the house? I know I do!

Save on supplies: Dollar store, baby! Of course, it’s not only dollars. Saving on headaches can be valuable too. Like, when the moms of XYZ Middle School prepare those grocery bags with precisely all  the supplies you kid will need? Costs more, but so easy!!

Clothing: This is going to depend on the kid, but what’s wrong with Good will? My sister had 2 boys, and bought ALL their clothes there because they just didn’t care. So, get some kids like that!

Wait on the season: By the time your kid needs each season’s wardrobe, those clothes will be on clearance. So, chill!

Online shopping: Online back to school shopping has increased 400% in the past few years, and now 40% of parents are doing it.

Compare prices: Prices for the exact same items are truly all over the place. Spend some time online and figure it out.

Computers and electronics: A good time to whip out that student ID, for extra savings.

So, that’s the 411 on back to school savings. There’s much more info at the original article, so check it out!  What do you think? Did we leave anything out? Got any tips to share?


Cure the Back to School Bookstore Blues

The college textbook screw-o-rama has aggravated students and parents forever. You buy an expensive textbook at the campus bookstore. At the end of the term you sell it back practically unused (in my case, anyway) for pennies on the dollar. The next day it’s on the USED shelf for 75% of the original price!

Well, put down the gun, mom and dad – and pick up the Kindle! According to a recent USA Today article, book giant Amazon has announced:

…students can rent tens of thousands of textbooks from its online Kindle Store, which Kindle users can access on the e-reader. Amazon said its rental prices are as much as 80 percent lower than the list prices for the books.

Now, cheaper is one thing, and I am all for it. But if you remember standing in line at the bookstore to buy and resell your books, every term, four years straight…that’s hours of precious human capital that went to waste! Time that could have been spent drinking beer and not studying!

What do you think? It’s back to college time!Does it make sense? Is your (or your kids’) school participating?