Get Your Kids Involved in Back-to-School Shopping: Some Teachable-Moment Tips

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As summer winds down, it’s time for back-to-school shopping. Here are some tips to not only help you save time and money but to do with your kids to help teach them about money, budgeting and organizing.

Federal Trade Commission Seal logo— This article is from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information blog. Colleen Tressler is a consumer education specialist with the FTC.

  • Get the teacher-approved list. Many teachers have lists of items they want their students to have.
  • Take an inventory of clothing and supplies you already have. Then, set a budget and buy only what you need.
  • Use price comparison apps to help you check for the best available price in real time. Many of these apps use your phone’s camera to scan a product code. Then they search online databases to show you prices and information about similar products sold online or in stores. [ editor’s note: See a list of some of them below.]
  • Consider buying used or refurbished, whether it’s clothing, sporting equipment, electronics or musical instruments. Consignment and resale shops are a great place to find quality merchandise at deep discounts.
  • Take advantage of tax-free shopping. Many states offer tax-free shopping days in August. It can be a great time to save on clothing and school supplies.
  • Ask about refund and return policies, including sale items. Merchants often have different refund and return policies for sale items, especially clearance merchandise.
  • Save those receipts! When you’re shopping online, keep copies of your order number, the refund and return policies, shipping costs and warranties.

For more money management tips, visit Money & Credit.

For more tips on teaching your kids about money, budgeting and organizing, the FTC Consumer Information blog recommends the Jump Start: Financial Smarts for Kids website.


Other back-to-school-related stories:


Using the Web and Apps to Compare Prices

Darienite found this list of price comparison apps and websites at We haven’t researched them and don’t have any recommendations. We just link to them as resources that you could try:

Some Price Comparison Apps


Clothes shopping 2007 Macy's by Phil Whitehouse on Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Phil Whitehouse on Wikimedia Commons

Clothes shopping





Now Discount



Quick Scan

Some Price Comparison Websites

Google Shopping

Yahoo Shopping





Price Runner





3 thoughts on “Get Your Kids Involved in Back-to-School Shopping: Some Teachable-Moment Tips

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