Saturday, August 11, 2012

5 Ways to Save on Back to School Supplies


5 Ways to Save on Back to School Supplies
Ah, the back to school shopping season. Moms and dads everywhere frantically search for the best deals on pens, pencils, paper and more. Despite all of the bargain hunting, the endeavor always seems to be rather costly. How exactly can you save on back to school supplies?

Last Year's Items
At the end of the school year, don't fling extra notebooks, pens, paper and other supplies into the garbage. Hold on to it for the following year. If your child doesn't need certain items anymore, a younger sibling might!

Start Shopping Early
As long as you have the back to school shopping list early on, start your shopping. Items become more expensive when they are in season, so prices are likely to be higher in September than in May or June. Even if you don't have an exact list, your child is probably going to need a few basic staples such as a lunch bag, book bag, pens and pencils. Hit the stores before the prices start to soar.

Scout Out Online
Prices are likely to be comparable on items such as folders, pens, pencils and notebooks regardless of whether you buy them online or in the store. However, larger items such as calculators can be much more expensive in the stores. Check online at websites such as Amazon. Instead of buying a brand new calculator for $100 or more, you may be able to find a preowned one for nearly half the cost. Make sure that the seller has excellent reviews so that you know the calculator is in mint working condition.

Don't Buy Cheap
While a very cheap folder might seem tempting during the late August/early September rush, you don't want to have to constantly purchase new folders. Take the quality of the product into consideration while you are buying it. If it is just going to fall apart in a couple of months, you are better buying something that is a bit more expensive now than dealing with the aggravation and the cost of replacing it later. It may be more expensive up front, but it will save you money in the end.

Coupons, Sales, Deals 
Whenever you want to buy something for a discounted rate, you need to be a savvy shopper. Go through the weekly circulars and see what is for sale this week. Check out coupon websites, and wait for your favorite websites to offer sales. Chances are, at least some of local stores will run some specials in the weeks leading up to school. Keep an eye on them, and head to the store as soon as you hear that paper, pens, pencils and the like are on sale.

Buying back to school supplies, especially when you have multiple children, can really run you a pretty penny. Instead of blowing your bank account on these items this year, take the time to plan ahead. Smart shoppers are usually the happiest shoppers because they know how to find great deals without compromising on quality.

Roger Morales writes about parenting, finance & family travel at boatinsurance.org.

33 comments:

JoeyfromSC said...

great tips! thanks for sharing..I always loved to shop for back to school supplies when I was younger..I also LOVE saving money, so I appreciate your tips!

Joey J.
(JoeyfromSC)

ape2016 said...

I agree that if you can help it to not buy really cheap items that will take a beating. Backpacks are another item that you need to invest in. I got sick of spending $10-$20 twice a year so one year I got a $70 one for my son- It has lasted 6 years now and is still going strong.

april yedinak

Ms Penny Pincher said...

Great list. I tend to do them all because supplies can get expensive!

PDWinner523 at gmail.com

Melanie said...

Thanks for the tips. I am always looking for ways to save money

sara ford said...

thank you I always look for ways to save you have to now in order to have anything nice lol

Sherry Compton said...

Good tip about not always buying cheap...there are some things that will be used often and need to be well-made. Make a list of what you will need and come up with a plan. Many online blogs will list each stores best deals. Read through a few of these before going shopping. For clothing and more expensive items take advantage of tax free weekends if your state offers them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tips. I like to buy large quantities when things are on sale

Sam Stamp said...

Thank you for the tips!! i love buying items when they are on sale! stock up now use later :D good motto

SavingCommonCents said...

I really like your tip of being resourceful...and upcycling last year's supplies! It might save me a few dollars that next September!

Shannon said...

These are great tips :) Thanks :)

Janet W. said...

I definitely agree with scouting out online first to compare prices!

Kristie Betts said...

Yeah I will definitely use this, I have bookmarked this page.

Thanks

Kimberly B. said...

Great tips! thanks so much!

Shannon Romein said...

Thanks for the tips, I think the main theme is to be organized, it will really save you in the end

bxcrochet said...

Great tips. Definately keeping extra supplies at the end of the year helps.

knickgirl_3 at yahoo dot com

jsmom said...

Thanks for the tips, I started early this year. I was picking things up in June.

slehan said...

My tip is to hit the garage sales & thrift stores.
Thanks for the contest.

RE said...

great tips! ..i shop throughout the year when i see bargains

Leslie Harris said...

great ideas

Shannon Jaymesmom Gallagher said...

Great tips! I also pick up supplies (and clothes) if I find any at rummage sales that are new or at least as close as possible.

Shannon M Gallagher on RC
surveylover77 at hotmail dot com

jennifer speed said...

these are great tips...To save on back to school shopping I usually buy things on sale and usually buy multiples so that I have some for the following year.

susan said...

I appreciate these great tips as we are getting ready for back to school.

Bertha Brown said...

Very great tips. I wish I started shopping earlier but glad I have help.

Jackie said...

Great tips!! I so agree about shopping early. Sometimes if I wait, by the time I go, everything on the 'need' list is sold out, and all of the good deals are over.
Thanks for the ideas!
jackieinmi67@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips, always searching for ways to save.

Chelsea said...

Great ideas! Thank you for the tips

Deb Green said...

Great tips, thanks!

Jenny OSU said...

Great tips! I wouldn't have thought about using leftovers.

The Turner family said...

I totally agree about the folder rule - the plastic one is much better!

Sally McIntyre said...

Thanks for the info, I'm always looking for ways to save..

Sherry said...

Thanks for the tips. I'm already doing some of them but the others tips will be very helpful.

Anonymous said...

Great and useful tips for what has become an expensive time of year.

Sue Hull said...

Awesome tips! I bought 2 well made backpacks at walmart and filled them with school supplies and donated them to Salvation Army.If anyone can afford to do that it's for a great cause. :)