Last week, I showed you how to get the most bang for your buck when shopping for school clothes. You can also save a ton of money shopping for school supplies as well and stick well within your budget.
Some of the same concepts apply to school supplies as to school clothes. When trying to save a bit of cash, the important thing to remember is it can be done without skimping out on all the fun and it just takes a bit of strategic planning!
9 Ways to Save Money on Back To School Supplies
1. Skip branded things like notebooks, folders and pencil cases with famous characters or cartoons. Instead, by basics and personalize them. One fun way to get kids excited about going back to school is to get some simple folders and notebooks with no personality and make them the child’s own. This can be done with stickers, metallic markers, temporary tattoos, glitter and even by doing a collage on the front with tear outs from magazines. Have the kiddos spend an afternoon before school starts doing the decorating and they are sure to be excited to show off their creations to all their friends!
2. See what you still have from last year that is usable. No need to go out and buy more of the same thing if you already have it.
3. Get a list from the teacher or your child’s school. Many times this can even be found at your local Walmart as schools sometimes give copies for parents to grab to do their shopping. Having this list will take the guess-work out of it and help you not to buy too many or not enough of what you need or miss items entirely and then be forced to buy them when they are no longer on sale.
4. Take advantage of a sales-tax holiday on back to school items.. During a specific week of the year, many states offer no sales tax up to certain amounts on supplies such as footwear, back to school items like pencils and backpacks.
5. Think of unconventional places to buy school supplies and check with them on sales before heading to the big box mass-merchandisers. Last year, I saved a ton at office supply stores getting crayons for mere pennies.
6. If you can afford to, buy extra of basics like markers, crayons, notebooks and folders while they are on sale. You will save a ton next year when you go for your yearly shopping trip.
7. Look for coupons. Many times, school suppliers like Crayola will release coupons on their Facebook pages this time of year so you can really rake in the savings and possibly get some for free!
8. Shop as early as you can and often. This way, you will be able to take advantage of the sales as they happen and not be hitting them up as they run out and be forced to buy full price for items.
9. Don’t assume the dollar store has the best deals. While some things can be cheaper there, such as home schooling cutouts for example, many things are way higher priced than the discounts offered at other stores this time of year.