Get your college supplies without breaking the bank

The supplies you need to get ready for your journey back to school

So you're ready to go back to college as an adult — that's great! However it is likely that you will need to pick up a few supplies before you begin the semester. As the cost of college alone is likely to be high, adult learners need to be careful not to wipe out their bank accounts before the academic year even begins.

Fortunately, there are ways for you to save money on your back-to-school supplies. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind, whether you are returning to school this fall or next:

Wait for special shopping days

Although it depends on what part of the country you reside in, you may be fortunate enough to benefit from a sales tax-free week or weekend that occurs just before the new academic year begins.

Check your local state to see if any special tax-free weekends (or whole weeks!) are being offered around back-to-school time. These special shopping days provide an opportunity for shoppers to pick up high-priced items, such as laptops and smartphones, and not worry about that pesky sales tax raising the price.

Take advantage of student deals

Before adult learners pull out their credit cards, they need to make sure to ask about any student discounts they may be unfamiliar with. They definitely exist — especially among the world’s top retailers.

For example, regular Amazon.com shoppers can sign up for Amazon Student to receive special deals and promotions, as well as free two-day shipping on their purchases. Meanwhile, the Apple Store sells Mac computers and other items at special rates for students and faculty. However, many of these can only be used for active students with a current ID and/or email address so if you haven't yet started pursuing your degree, you might not be able to activate these discounts yet.

Make smart decisions using online tools

Shopping online is a great way to save money, especially when exclusive online sales or discounts go into effect. A great place to find deals is Hukkster where you can receive notifications when products go on sale. Additionally, Blinq sells new and refurbished items at a discounted rate including laptops, smartphones and headphones at a fraction of the retail cost.

While technology is great, shoppers should not forget to open a copy of their local Sunday newspaper and clip out those coupons. Sometimes, a few of them can make all the difference on a back-to-school shopping trip.