How to save money on all things back to school

It’s August and while back-to-school is looking quite different this year, certain things remain the same: school supplies. Before you load up your carts (and VISA bill), consider shopping these local resale and consignment retailers! From clothes and books to musical instruments and sports gear, you can find virtually everything your kiddo needs for less.

Save big this fall with our guide on how to save money on all things back to school:


Half Price Books

Half Price Books is America’s largest family-owned bookstore with more than 120 stores across the country. There are several locations in Cincinnati, where you’ll find everything from summer reading books and textbooks to music and dvds, rare books and first editions.

The Garage

This used book store stocks a next-level selection of children’s books and teen titles. While The Friends Warehouse remains closed (an unfortunate mix of COVID-19 + this spring’s devastating tornado), parents can place orders for curbside pickup at The Garage. The Garage is a pop-up used bookstore, literally set up in the Hartwell Warehouse’s (formerly unused) garage space. It’s an all-white space of carefully curated, color-coded books.

The Book Rack

This local gem has been selling used books since 1978, and offers unparalleled expertise and customer service.

Our #1 tip to save BIG on BTS shopping? Ohio’s Tax Free Weekend Aug. 7-9!

Sports gear and equipment

Once Upon a Child

If your kids are in soccer in the fall and spring, odds are pretty high that you’re buying shoes for both seasons. (Or at least once/year — and that can add up!) Do yourself a favor and check out Once Upon a Child for your kiddo’s sports gear. They even offer curbside pickup.

Play It Again Sports

Play It Again Sports is the largest used sporting goods franchise in the world. Play It Again Sport sells used sports equipment and apparel for virtually every sport imaginable.

Musical instruments

Buddy Rogers

Does your tween flip-flop on what instrument to play? Get a FREE trial month, then purchase, rent or rent to own.

Music Go Round

This used instrument retailer doesn’t have a store in Cincinnati; the nearest brick-and-mortar shops are Centerville, OH and Louisville, KY. But you can purchase used instruments through their website.

Clothes, Shoes and Gear

Once Upon a Child

Clothes, shoes, coats and more — if you’re looking for BTS essentials, Once Upon a Child is your secret weapon. This retailer is the reining king of resale, offering an unparalleled selection of gently used name brands and high-end labels – for less.

Plato’s Closet

Got teens? Plato’s Closet is the teenage sibling of Once Upon a Child, selling cool clothes and on-trend styles your teens will want to wear, with prices you’ll want to spend.

Clothes Mentor

This upscale resaler isn’t just for adults — your teens and college-bound kids can score major savings on their favorite brands like Lululemon, North Face, Patagonia and more!

For more ways to save on Back to School, be sure to follow Cincy Parent on Facebook and Instagram!

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