No Kids? 5 Ways You Can Take Advantage of Back-to-School Sales
For those of us without kids or have kids who have already graduated college, it can certainly be annoying to put up with the onslaught of ads each year.
Of course, the fact that you can swim around in your disposable income like Scrooge McDuck instead of spending a ton of money on multiple kids somewhat alleviates the annoyances of those commercials.
That being said, it’s time to shop smarter by taking advantage of back-to-school sales for yourself. Why pay more for electronics, athletic gear and office supplies in September or October when you can snag better prices right now?
With that in mind, here are five ways to do just that:
Preparing for Football Season
While retailers will roll out a rash of discounts on televisions and other home theater gear around Labor Day to coincide with the start of both college and professional football, you can get fairly equivalent discounts on the same models as kids are heading back to school.
For instance, Dell has been particularly aggressive as of late, basically including gift cards between $100 to $300 with the purchase of a new HDTV. In addition, those televisions will be priced to match or beat Amazon’s price on the model.
Of course, you can also find some great deals on tablets (mainly 7-inch & 8-inch models), ideal if you want the “second screen” experience when watching the games on Saturday and Sunday. If you are unfamiliar with the relatively new second screen feature, mobile applications produced by organizations like the NFL will offer additional stats about each player on your favorite team, how the current games are altering your fantasy league and push notifications about important plays while you are watching the game on your HDTV.
Hitting the Treadmill
If you are obsessive about running or are just getting back into the practice of regular exercise, this is a great month to purchase a new pair of sneakers. Retailers like Kohls, Nordstrom and REI have been slashing prices on shoes in order to attract back to school shoppers, as well as clear out summer apparel lines (which included shoes). You will also find great shoe deals at places like 6pm, eBay and Finish Line.
It’s also not limited to running shoes. You will find great deals on other types of sneakers as well as sandals throughout August. Some of these larger store sales will also cover athletic clothing like shorts and T-shirts, ideal if you need to replace a larger portion of your wardrobe.
If you like to listen to music while you exercise, be sure to check out the August back-to-school deals on headphones / earbuds as well. You won’t find a significant number of deals on portable music players, but it’s likely that you already have one built into your smartphone.
Kicking off a Freelance Career
With so many kids graduating college without jobs, turning to freelance work as a temporary option can be helpful to make money while job hunting. Freelancing covers a wide range of career options such as writing, marketing, web development, photography, social media management, graphic design and accounting.
Of course, you will need the right gear to operate successfully as a freelancer. The current back-to-school deals on Windows laptops and tablets as well as Chromebooks are a good place to start, especially if you need to replace an older computer that makes work more difficult due to slow speeds and outdated technology.
You will find killer deals on Dell, Lenovo, Acer, ASUS and HP models over the next few weeks. After the back-to-school sales are over, you won’t see the same level of discounts until November rolls around. Be sure to check out our feeds of laptop deals to see what’s available and suitable for your needs as a freelancer.
Restocking the Home Office / Craft Room
Assuming you aren’t actively swiping office supplies from work, there’s no better time than right now to resupply your own home office than right now. Back-to-school sales provide huge savings opportunities to stock up on computer paper, writing paper, notepads, pens, pencils, erasers and pretty much anything you would find in a typical home office. In regards to prices, your best bets for cheap office supplies will be Walmart and Target rather than the big office supply chains like Staples and OfficeMax.
Beyond the home office, this is also an ideal time to stock up on products that could be useful in a craft room. That would include items like tape, glue, scissors, markers and colored pencils, ideal for anyone in an artistic profession as well. In addition, if you use a chalkboard in your kitchen or entryway for communication with family, be sure to pick up some cheap chalk this month.
Early Christmas Shopping?
Even if you don’t have kids, this is a great opportunity to pick up gifts for kids that may be in your extended family or perhaps kids of your friends. While you won’t find great discounts on toys, items that encourage creativity, like crayons and markers, can be found at a huge discount compared to the Black Friday prices. This could also be ideal to have on hand if young children are visiting your home.
If you are active in charity during the year, this is also a great time to pick up children’s clothing as well as school supplies for needy kids. Many charity organizations will have drives for these items throughout the end of the year, so you can save money by stocking up on items right now to donate in the near future.