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By Ashleigh, K-Staff
In a classroom or in a living room, school will still look a little different for New Mexico’s kids this fall. But regardless of where and how kids will be educated this fall, one feature of traditional back-to-school preparations is expected to be bigger than ever: back-to-school shopping!
Year-over-year, shopping spending was up 12% in May, and that trend is expected to continue with parents hitting back-to-school sales this August. The National Retail Federation is expecting 2021 back-to-school spending to reach a record $37.1 billion, a more than $3 billion increase from 2020. The cost of electronics factors into this increase significantly, as does inflation which remains at a 13-year high according to MarketWatch.com. Deals and discounts may be harder to find, but there are still ways that parents can get more for their back-to-school bucks in 2021.
Stores are making this so easy. Walmart and Target often have local schools’ supply lists in store, but you can also find them on your school’s website. “Stick to the list” to limit your extraneous purchases.
We parents rarely use every bit of our school supplies each year. Go on a supply hunt at home before you hit the store. You may be able to knock those notebooks, pens, folders, and more off your list. As far as back-to-school clothes, now is a great time to do a fashion show with the kids to find out what fits, what doesn’t, and what you can put off buying for a few more months at least.
Many states offer tax-free weekends in anticipation of a new school year. Tax-free weekends suspend the state gross receipts tax on a wide variety of back-to-school essentials including supplies, backpacks, clothing, shoes, school-related technology, and more. These small discounts can add up to big savings for parents, especially with big-ticket back-to-school items such as printers and computers. Some retailers will even suspend the tax collection on all items, so you may be able to take advantage on other purchases as well.
New Mexico’s tax-free weekend in 2021 is scheduled for August 6th, 7th, and 8th.
The price of many goods has increased, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t deals to be found. Many back-to-school basics can be found at dollar stores, and combined with manufacturer coupons, could end up costing close to nothing. For other stores, be sure to check their app—sometimes membership comes with perks that could earn you additional discounts, rebates, or even gift cards on certain items.
It may be obvious, but head to your store’s clearance section first to get the best deals. Many stores put new items on clearance each Sunday, so shop early to find these deals.
Have a plan for your back-to-school purchases to see the best savings and rewards. If you have a great credit card like the Independence Credit card, you could get all your purchasing done with a great interest rate and valuable benefits, like UNLIMITED 1.5% cash-back on every purchase you make!
Subject to credit approval based on credit worthiness and other factors. Annual percentage rate is based on credit history and other factors. The Kirtland FCU Visa Platinum Credit Card has a variable interest rate which is indexed to the Prime Rate and tiered based on credit-worthiness criteria. A margin (based on credit-worthiness criteria) is added to the index to determine the interest rate. The annual percentage rate can change quarterly, based on changes to the index, and annually, based on changes to the credit-worthiness criteria. Cash-back rewards will post to your account at the end of each billing cycle. Cash advance, ATM withdrawals, and balance transfer transactions are excluded from earning cash rebates or reward points. If you do not specify a benefit program, you will be automatically enrolled in the Cash Back Rebate. Membership eligibility required. See a representative for complete details.