Summer is in full swing and before you know it back to school time will be here and it will be time to find some great deals on school supplies. The cost on these can really add up especially if you have more than one child that you are buying for. With everything going digital trying to save money on school supplies can be a real task. When I was a child we had a simple list of pencils, pens, crayons and paper but this day and age things are a tad bit different. Fancy calculators, student planners and even a Chromebook may be on the list and some of these items are not cheap.
How to Save Money on School Supplies
1. Start looking early but not too early! – This may sound a little crazy but you can keep your eyes peeled now for great deals on clearance items but if you try to stock up on everything now you may end up losing out on the big back to school sales. Keep a list from your child's school on you at all times and when you are browsing the clearance isle see what you can find. If it's dirt cheap and you need it pick it up. If your feeling a little unlucky just hold on a bit and hit up those sales that will be out soon and nab your supplies for up to 80% off!
2. Only buy what you need. – Every year parents will try to shop for school supplies based on what they “think” their children might need. Then you are left with a pile of supplies that are not needed and now it's up to you to find a place to put them wasting much needed space in your home. If your child's school supply list is not ready early stick to the basics until you have your list in hand.
3. Check sites like Freecycle.org– We are all trying to do what is best for the environment lately and sites like freecycle.org are great when it comes to finding things like school supplies. As we talked about before parents will often buy things that their children don't need and then they are trying to find a place to store it. Freecycle is a great online community that helps people give the items to someone else instead of them ending up in our basement or in a landfill.
4. Keep your eye out for freebies. – With all the state fairs and parades that go on through the summer you are bound to run across some freebies in your area. Pencils, pens, notebooks and rulers are prime examples of what you can find if you walk into tents at the fairs and look around. Save them in a special spot until school starts so they don't get thrown all over the house. At one time I stopped collecting these items because they became a disorganized mess but if you put them away for school time you can actually save some cash.
5. Leave the kids at home. – I do the bulk of my shopping without my kids there. They really like to go with me but it is hard to concentrate on sales and better prices when you son/daughter is pulling at your leg wanting to buy 15 different erasers that look like food. Do the bulk of the shopping buy yourself and take them for the “special” items like pretty erasers and backpacks. That way they still get to enjoy picking out their own things but it's only for a few of the items which will help cut down on the cost.
6. Stock up. – At the beginning of the year when they have the best sales we tend to only buy what is on the list. This list is pretty much just to get them started on the year and will have to be added to as the year goes by. Pens, pencils and paper are a good example of what to stock up on. Just make sure you keep all your items in a specific location so you will be able to find them when the time comes that you need them.
More Ways to Save on Back to School
What tricks do you have when it comes to saving money on school supplies?