With the back-to-school season looming, it’s time to take stock and get ready to go shopping. Buying everything that your child needs to return to school will add up quickly if you don’t shop strategically. Beyond the list of school-required materials, your kids will likely be begging for a remarkable first-day outfit, shoes, and as much new stuff as possible. Back-to-school time doesn’t need to be financially stressful, though, as there are many ways that you can score the best deals on all the essentials.

Use coupons

Never purchase items for full price without first checking if there are coupons available. You can save massive amounts of money by using coupons that can include buy-one-get-one-free deals, 50% off, and more! Choosing to shop at large department stores such as Kohl’s and using Kohls coupons will allow you to get everything you need from one place, making the whole shopping experience much more convenient.

Split bulk items

Link up with friends or family who have school-age children and split the cost of buying items in bulk. It’s often way cheaper to buy huge packs of pencils, erasers, binders, paper, rulers, etc. than small individual packages. Even better, it uses less packaging, so not only is it friendly on your bank account, but also the environment. There is even potential to earn extra perks this way by offering to purchase with your credit card or using your rewards card since you will stack up extra points.

Shop off-season

Although many stores will advertise back-to-school sales near the end of summer, that doesn’t mean you’ll get the best price. The prices will often drop substantially after the back-to-school rush, so try to hold out. The first month of school is usually still warm enough for your kids to wear their summer clothes, giving you a few weeks to wait to purchase new fall gear. Your kids may not like this, as they will want new things to wear on their first week, but you can always offer to purchase them a new outfit for the first day and get more later on. Alternatively, start your back-to-school shopping off-season, such as near the beginning of summer instead.

Compare before you buy

If you are buying any tech equipment, such as laptops or tablets, you should always compare prices beforehand. The same goes for any significant purchase, such as a brand of sneakers, or an expensive backpack. If the product is not exclusive to a specific retailer, then it’s likely you can find it at a lower price elsewhere. Do your research first and see if someone else is selling the same item at a reduced cost.

Before back-to-school shopping for your children, it’s crucial to take stock of everything you already have. The kids may want all new items but likely haven’t used up what you bought them the previous year. Items like pencil cases, markers, colored pencils, binders, etc. will get them through at least a couple of years before needing to be repurchased. You can save the most money buy not needing to purchase items at all.