Sep 2, 2011

5 Cheapskate Tips For Back To School

By Marla Jo Fisher – The Orange County Register

It's time to head back to school. Here are some ways to ease the pain on your pocketbook:

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Musical instruments:
Buy that instrument, don't rent it. You'll save money in the long run, and then if your student doesn't take to the task, you can resell it. To save money, take a tip from professional musicians and shop at your local pawn shop. You can often find good-quality instruments for much less than at the music store.

Dollar stores:
If you aren't finding any deals at your regular stores, check out the dollar store. They have everything from poster board to 3x5 cards to notebooks to flashcards to calculators for a buck.

Thrift shops
Check out your local secondhand shop for items like three-ring binders, pencil cases, lunch pails and backpacks for a fraction of what they'd cost new.

Free books
Before you go out and buy a book you need, consider the alternatives – and there are many these days. You can download books online for free from sites like Project Gutenberg and Amazon Kindle. There are book-swapping sites that will let you trade your old books for others you want, just pay postage. I like to use Paperbackswap.com. And then there's the good old public library, where you can get books, sheet music, audiobooks, music, movies and more for free.