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Piggy bank swells in pride at back to school savings

If you're a parent in Corpus Christi, you're probably already in full preparation-mode for the upcoming school year. By now, the school district has sent out its list of supplies, and you're quietly wondering how you'll possibly afford it all and have any money left over.

Trust us -- starting the school year off right is totally doable. So, whether you're a back-to-school expert or a first-timer, check out these 8 tips on saving money at the start of this school year!

1. Trade or Swap

Post on social media or check with your local community groups to find a few other moms and dads with kids the same age as yours, or just a few years older. There's a great chance they'll have loads of old supplies and maybe even clothes or backpacks they'd like to trade for yours.

Also, remember to ask them if they have any old textbooks -- the money you'll save on books will go far toward buying the rest of the necessary supplies your kids need!

2. Check Your Home

When school season hits, everybody rushes out to local big box stores and grocery stores to raid the shelves for school supplies without realizing one thing: they already have a lot of supplies lying around their houses.

Go through every drawer and look under every couch cushion if you have to. Odds are you'll find a sizeable selection of supplies for your kids to start their year off with.

3. Find Price-Match Stores

Many stores like Target, Best Buy, and Staples offer to match the prices you find online. Any time you come across an item your kids need, pull out your phone and check Amazon or Walmart.com to see if there's a better deal out there. The stores will then honor their guarantee by charging you the discounted price!

4. Splurge... When Necessary

When you go out to get the really big stuff like backpacks, make sure you look for quality. A well-made backpack might last for years where a cheaply made one may only last a semester.

The only other supplies you'd be wise to spend extra on are reusables like plastic folders, binders, and dividers. There are plenty of these types of supplies out there made from the cheapest possible materials that will be too worn by the end of the school year for reuse. If you spend a little extra on these, you might get good use out of them for years to come.

5. Find Books Online

If your kids' school makes you purchase textbooks, try and find them online. Not only is there a better chance of finding a great price, you'll also get around the issue of local bookstores running out of copies.

And if you or your kids are required to read one of the hundreds of works of classic literature popular among English teachers, find them online for free on websites like Gutenberg.org.

6. Use Online Community Sales Pages

Places like Facebook's online marketplace and Craigslist often have great deals on school supplies posted by other parents. If you scroll through these each day leading up to and through the beginning of the school year, you can find tons of items your kids need at cheap prices.

And remember, you can also become a great salesman yourself by selling off last year's supplies or other stuff you don't need around your home. With the extra cash, you can afford to keep your kids fully stocked on supplies.

7. Don't Go All-In

One of the biggest mistakes parents make is trying to knock every item off the list at once. Don't do this.

Instead, spread out your purchases across multiple days. Look out for days that have great deals or those that have the smallest crowds of other parents buying supplies. Also, if you can figure out which items aren't needed Day One, you can buy them a few weeks into the school year at discounted prices.

8. Prepare for Next Year

Once the school year really kicks off and prices on supplies come down, don't forget all about it until next year. Instead, keep your eye out for great deals on supplies you can store away in a closet and surprise yourself with after this school year ends.

The best way to make sure your kids succeed this year is to give them all the tools they need for success. And if you're a Corpus Christi parent who needs a little help making ends meet during the beginning of the school year, remember that Atlas Credit is here to help you afford to give your kids those tools with a quick and easy personal loan. Apply online or in store for a loan of up to $1,300 on a 5 to 12-month repayment plan!

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