Start the school year off with a little extra money in your pocket by using some of these easy ways to save money on back to school supplies.
With the new school year approaching there are a lot of questions, often without answers, in regards to how school is going to work. Despite the uncertainty, you can be stocked with the necessary school supplies you or your child will need for a successful and fun school year!
BE PREPARED BEFORE YOU SHOP WITH A DETAILED LIST
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Especially if this isn’t your first school year, you probably already have a good idea of what you’ll need before you hit the store. That said, it is always a great idea to have a written list before you go. When I get to the colorful shiny aisles of Target or the Office Supply, stocked with brand new notebooks, papers, and paints, everything in my head is lost and I just want to stock my basket with everything in sight. Teachers typically send out a supply list well in advance with what each child will need for the year. Having a list will help you stay on track and save money by not having to guess or overbuy to compensate.
BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES AND THE BUDGET
If you’ve been reading here long, you will already know that we are huge fans of having a working budget. Check out our post here if you haven’t already started one. It even includes a free printable so you can make as many copies as you want.
Since back to school is an annual event, it takes the stress off planning for and budgeting. You know it’s going to happen and now you can simply save a little extra each month in your education fund to help cover these back-to-school costs.
IDEAS TO SAVE MONEY ON BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES
- Take Advantage of Tax-Free Weekend. It’s a great way to save a significant amount of cash on regular priced items you have to purchase. Check ahead of time to find out which stores are participating, and what items are included in the tax-free promotion, and what will be on sale that weekend. Think outside the box on this one. Especially with many schools going online this semester, you might be needing more than just the regular supplies that fit in a backpack. Consider checking out deals on computers, desks, and other office supplies.
- Shop Year Around for supplies you’ll know you need. Items such as backpacks can be expensive but often times great sales happen all year round. Pencils wear out, break, and must be replaced several times over. Consider starting a small stockpile to replace supplies that are quickly consumed or easily broken.
- Buy quality the first time. I’ve learned this lesson after years of having to buy the same thing twice because the item broke or wore out within weeks of purchase. It ended up costing me more than if I would have purchased quality the first time. It is important to note that quality isn’t always a name brand or even the most expensive option. Check out ratings and reviews before you purchase or pole more experienced friends on their favorites.
- Follow money-saving blogs. Crystal Paine over at moneysavingmom.com finds and posts great deals for school supplies and curriculum along with plenty of other great deals and money saving tips. hip2save.com is another great one that I’ve been reading for years. They not only share amazing deals on school supplies and curriculum, but the best money-saving tips, coupons, and inspiration to save money in all areas.
- Shop Online. There are so many cash back sites, online coupons, and stores doing deals with free shipping to overlook this option. Doing the research online can save you time and money before making any purchases.
- Stay Organized! Having a place for everything in an easily accessible spot will help you stay organized. You can see what you have at all times, and keep a list of what you will need. When an item you need goes on sale, you’ll be ready to snag that great deal. Don’t forget the best deal is not spending any money at all. Being organized can help see what you already own and do not need to purchase as well.
- Shop off-season sales. Great deals on tennis shoes, computers, school uniforms, are often on sale at the end of the season.
- Ask for or give school supplies for Christmas stocking stuffers. School supplies make great stocking stuffers or gifts. It’s the perfect chance to give those fun pencils, or cool backpack, or a pricy water bottle.
Good Luck with the new school year! Whether you have plans for in-school learning, homeschooling, or virtual school, hopefully, these ideas will help you start out right and save money in the process!
Let’s help each other out! Leave a comment below with your best tips to save money on school supplies!