Binders and backpacks and clothing, oh my! Families with school-aged children spend approximately $630 during each back to school season according to Time.com. But before you call a doctor (because, ouch!), put these tips to memory and become the savviest of back-to-school shoppers!
When you Go Great Lakes Bay for your back-to-school buys, you'll discover where a pink bag will have you pining over half-off savings at a unique boutique, learn to beeline for an outlet center with over 145+ brand name stores precisely when they're having sales (oh yes, there's a way), and experience a real-life lesson in math - adding up all that you didn't spend while back-to-school shopping in the Great Lakes Bay!
Shop Sales & Save the Date(s)
"I love your daughter's outfit!"
"Thanks, I got a great deal on it! But the sale ended yesterday ..."
Taking advantage of sales certainly adds up during back-to-school shopping, but pouncing at the peak of savings (rather than hearing about it two days too late) can be difficult:
- Download mobile phone apps for continual savings and alerts at your fingertips
- Comb newspaper ads and circulars
- Like and follow the name brands your back-to-schoolers have penchants for on social media for even more coupons and insider details on upcoming sales
You can also pinpoint precise timing of sales, participating stores and the discounts they will offer throughout the year as a VIP Club perk available from Birch Run Premium Outlets, an outlet center with over 145 brand name stores including Nike, Gap, Justice, The Children's Place, North Face, Columbia and more. Enroll for free, and gain a $5 coupon book along with priceless know-how (and know-when) to shop.
Back-To-School Basics: To win over shoppers, it's become standard for retailers to offer steeper discounts of 30% to 50% for longer periods of time during back-to-school season (think most of July and August). Don't fall for your first 10% off; savings can be better if you practice some patience.
Consider Consignment & Keep Your Cash
Numbers vary, but many consignment shops tout prices of 60% less than retail!
Combine already-low prices with month-long sales through August at The Cat's Meow Downtown, an upscale resale store in Downtown Bay City specializing in brand new merchandise for the whole family, and your savings will be gargantuan! Think Justice brand clothing, $4, and American Eagle brand jeans, $10, even before sales.
- Purr! The Pink Bag: A one-time, $5 donation (proceeds benefit Do-All, Inc., the nonprofit behind The Cat's Meow locations in downtown Bay City and Essexville) will land you with your very own Cat's Meow Pink Bag-and 50% off savings on merchandise inside it on the first weekend of every month! Also, ask about special dates to fill your pink bag for only $8.
- Find savings at Little Green Beans Resale Boutique in Frankenmuth on children's clothing, newborn through size 8, or shop Once Upon a Child in Saginaw for sizes newborn through 14/16 and much more.
- Have a tween, teen, or mini-fashionista on your back-to-school list? Check Dressed to a Tea in Bay City for upscale fashion consignment (and maybe add a few pieces to your wardrobe, too), Plato's Closet or Style Encore in Saginaw, or Twice Is Nice and What Goes Around Comes Around in Midland.
- Shop here for a listing of many consignment options in the area.
Back-To-School Basics: The absolute best prices are still at the end of August, when summer clearance and back-to-school promotions converge.
Shop Off-Season & Save All Year Long
The holidays may be "the most wonderful time of the year", but savvy shoppers know that July/August and April/May are, too! As mentioned above, clearance prices and sales overlap during these times allowing off-season opportunities to save big!
- Scour stores and boutiques, malls and shopping centers and specialty shops for bare-bottom prices on shorts, sandals and t-shirts for back-to-school now-and next spring, too.
- Search stores and boutiques, malls and shopping centers and specialty shops at this time for deals on winter coats, boots, snow gear, fleece zip-ups, jeans and boots for the upcoming back-to-school season (and maybe even early Christmas presents)!
While shopping in the Great Lakes Bay Region this back-to-school season: Find your sales, consider consignment, and learn the ropes of off-season shopping. You'll save time, money and headaches-and you may even save enough to score a day shopping, solo or with friends, for yourself!