The Zilch Guide to Back-to-School Shopping Hacks

Trend Guides | 15th Aug 2022 | 7min read

It’s almost the start of another school year. Whether you’re a parent looking to prep your kids or a college student on the lookout for back-to-school shopping hacks, we’ve got you covered.

Reduce unnecessary expenses and rushing for last-minute purchases by getting your back-to-school shopping done now.

Here’s one helpful tip for you: Zilch it. So what’s Zilch? It’s a virtual Mastercard that lets you pick the way you pay anywhere you like online.

You can opt to pay in 4 over 6 weeks with ZERO fees and ZERO interest (0% APR). You pay part of your purchase at checkout, then the rest over 6 weeks. Ideal for bigger buys, or if you just need a little extra time. First instalment payment varies from 25-50% depending on eligibility checks.

You can also pay in 1 to get 2% cash back in Zilch Rewards instantly. You can use these Zilch Rewards towards your next buy or save them for that special something.

Awesome, right? Here’s a sneak peek of other ways that could help you save some bucks for your back-to-school shopping:

  • Do an inventory. Check out what school supplies and essentials you currently have and make a list of what will be needed for the upcoming school year.
  • Reuse what you can. From clothes to school supplies, bags and lunchboxes, recycling is both practical and environment friendly.
  • Shop clearances and sales. Shop local, look out for back-to-school deals and also shop off-season to discover hidden gems at cheaper prices.
  • Spread out your purchases. Spreading purchases over a few weeks will help you pay at your own pace but there’s an even better option. Buy now, pay later with Zilch, fee-free and interest-free.
  • Make the most of student discounts. Save more by taking advantage of student discounts. There are plenty of student-exclusive offers from major stores so keep an eye out for those!
  • Explore thrift stores and second hand options. Look no further than your own social media account. Facebook Marketplace has pre-loved and budget-friendly options in your area. Check out eBay too for some listings.
  • Go for price match offers. Staples, Target, Nordstrom and more major retailers offer price match options so do your research and read up on store policies to avail of this offer.
  • Split bulk deals. Stores usually offer lower prices for buying in bulk. If you’re unable to use everything in the bundle, split the price with fellow parents or students and share the items.
  • Collect coupons. Whether it’s an online promo code or a cut-out coupon, applying these discounts to your purchases will ultimately help you spend less and save more.

Do an inventory.

Before you even start shopping for school supplies, make sure to check what you have and don’t have at home.

Make a list of items that could still be used for the upcoming school year then proceed to make a shopping list of essential back-to-school items.

This way, you could avoid spending on unnecessary purchases and in turn, spend responsibly for what you actually need.

When it’s time to shop, why not consider Zilching it to enjoy flexible payment options?

Reuse what you can.

In line with the point we made above, anything that’s in good condition could be recycled.

Whether it be pencils, erasers, notepads, backpacks or lunchboxes, putting them back into rotation would be a practical solution.

Another suggestion would be to repurpose unused pages out of spiral notebooks into loose-leaf paper for the upcoming school year. This is both economical and good for the environment, so it’s a win-win!

Shop clearances and sales.

For starters, have a look at what small local businesses have to offer. You might be able to find good deals on surplus items.

If you’re unable to find what you need there, retail chains like Target and Walmart offer weekly clearance sales and back-to-school deals.

It’s also worth checking out dollar stores and signing up to free loyalty and rewards programs to help you save more.

Alternatively, you could pay in 1 with Zilch to get 2% cash back in Zilch Rewards instantly.

Spread out your purchases.

Instead of shopping for school supplies and essentials at once, spreading out your purchases over a few weeks could be a practical approach.

Each week, there will be unsold stock from stores and they will most likely be discounted, allowing you to save more.

Another way to spread out your purchases is paying in 4 with Zilch. You’ll only have to pay 25% to 50% of the total price of your purchase upfront (depending on eligibility checks), then pay the rest over 6 weeks.

Make the most of student discounts.

A lot of tech stores including Apple, Dell and Microsoft, offer discounts to college students so make sure to check them out.

Online stores like ASOS also give students 10% off for any purchase. Try signing up to Student Beans too. It’s a platform that enables you to access student discounts across a wide range of categories and stores.

Teachers, on the other hand, can enjoy exclusive discounts on school supplies year-round from stores such as Barnes and Noble. Dollar General also gives teachers 20% off stationery for a limited time this season.

Explore thrift stores and second hand options.

Check out Facebook Marketplace to browse a relevancy-sorted feed of things to buy from people who live nearby. Craigslist is another option to consider for saving big bucks on school supplies.

Look up eBay listings as well. They have authenticity guaranteed second hand sneakers, bags and clothes in good condition.

For cheap meal options, download the Too Good To Go app.  It lets you buy and collect Surprise Bags of food that weren’t sold in time at cafes, restaurants and hotels at a great price.

Go for price match offers.

Pro tip: Do some research and read up on policies of your favourite stores. Some stores have a price match policy, allowing you to purchase an item at another store’s discounted price.

For instance, major retailers like Staples, Target, and Nordstrom have excellent price match policies.

Spending a bit of time to check pricing policies will ultimately help you save more and spend less in the end.

It’s worth making a list of stores that offer this so you can plan where to shop and do so efficiently.

Split bulk deals.

Scoring bulk deals on school supplies is another awesome way to save money, especially if you find other parents or fellow college students willing to split the expense.

That way, you can each pay less and share the items amongst yourselves. If buying in bulk without splitting would work for you, consider paying in 1 with Zilch to earn 2% cash back in Zilch Rewards instantly.

Collect coupons.

It might sound old-fashioned, but collecting coupons still is an effective way to save money.

Whether you’re cutting out coupons from newspapers or using online promo codes online, go ahead and apply that discount!

Another way to discount your next shop is paying in 1 with Zilch. You’ll instantly receive Zilch Rewards which you can put towards your next purchase or save for a bigger future purchase.

Try these back-to-school shopping hacks now to get ahead. Remember to always spend responsibly! Best of luck for the upcoming school year!