Navigating the Supply Chain & Back to School Shopping

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Now that inflation is reaching new heights not experienced by US consumers for about 40 years, and supply chain woes are taking a toll on the availability of products, it’s a good time to reflect on how parents should calibrate their spending for the Back to School season. Here is insight from the experts at on smart shopping tips for fall.

Plan Early –  Back to School season usually runs during the months of August and September. To be ahead of the game, start preparing now for the products and supplies that you need to shop for. Shopping online and on Amazon is one of the greatest gifts that the digital age of the internet has provided to consumers. You can practically shop and compare the availability and prices of products in the comfort of your home or on the move if you shop using your smartphone. This saves you a tremendous amount of time visiting physical stores to browse the available selection and compare prices. 

By quick online research, you should be able to find what kind of products are scarce in supply. So far, in 2022, many electronic gadgets have been experiencing volatile supply chains due to a shortage in microchips and in-stock availability. If you see a gadget you like or need that is running low in supply, and it is being sold at full price across all online channels without any discounts, this probably means it’s about to run out. So in this particular case, you can consider buying such a product immediately, with no delay, so you do not miss out and have to wait for more units to be in stock which can be a big unknown in today’s global supply chain complexities. 

Look for the deal – if you start your research early and ahead of the season, you can take advantage of solid promotions and discounts that you know are bonafide and deliver good savings for you. Also, scout for coupon/promo codes, rebates, limited-time offers, bundle offers, extra cashback rewards with your credit card providers, rewards from stores with a members program, and much more. Amazon, for example, has a great rewards status setup for its Prime Rewards Visa Card. You essentially get 5% cash back for anything you buy on Amazon and WholeFood stores. If you constantly shop on Amazon, it’s probably a must-card for you. 

Another thing to look out for on Amazon is the product detail page. Usually, in the middle section under the product detail info, you will be able to find promotional offers such as Buy One Get One (BOGO) deals, Buy One Get % Off, and bundle deals. Such offers tend to kind of modestly hide in the middle of the page and sometimes offer great value that can really change the game for your shopping experience. Supply

Social Media Groups–  There are a handful of social media groups on Facebook, for example, that consumers can join and take an active part of. This can help in many ways. One way is large volume discounts. If you only need one unit of a product, but on a certain website, if you buy a minimum of three units, you get a significantly better deal, then you should be able to easily post about such an offer and find another fellow shopper on your social media group for example, and have them join you at buying at bulk for the deal for collective savings.

It’s really great being a part of a social media group that constantly scouts out for deals and shares with the group of great deals running and around with great savings. This way, social media is the product/tool that helps you save money. Saved money is earned money, so this is how social media can pay you back for having you and your data as their product. Supply

Cashback Apps – There are some really cool cashback apps where you can find gift cards for major online retailers at a discount. You can also find unique discount codes as well. Just by visiting the AppStore on your phone, you will find myriad apps that can provide extra savings. What is nice about discounted gift cards which act as a cashback, is that you can pay for such gift cards with your credit cards. This way, you are stacking up your cashback rewards. For example, if you find a deal to buy a $100 Nike gift card for $95 (5% cashback), but your credit card gives you a 2% cash back for purchasing the gift card, in this case, you are stacking almost at 7% cash back in rewards. This kind of layer of cashback rewards can tremendously give you a firm advantage of getting more value for your money, and fighting inflation by having you, the consumer, with the upper hand.   

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