Do you get nervous just thinking about back to school supply shopping? You aren’t alone. Many parents see dollar signs when it comes to back to school shopping, and feel like the only way to get what they need it to break the bank. But the truth is, you can save money on back to school supplies easily if you just get a little creative and organized. Take a look below at 12 secrets for saving on school supplies and getting the perfect supplies for pennies. Here is how to get started.
12 Secrets for Saving on School Supplies
1. Don’t buy all at once.
Don’t try to knock out your whole list at one store. First, check sales and specials and shop accordingly. It may mean making a few different trips, but the savings can be substantial. As the school year nears, or even starts, you will see a dramatic drop in price, so if you can wait until then expect to save some cash.
The back to school sales always start the first week in July, check out the Back to School Sales Page to see all the deals available this week!
2. Price match.
Stores such as Walmart and Target offer price matching, which can save you time and money. If you have the option of shopping at either of these stores (or another one which price matches) do it! Take your ads and compare, and get the savings you deserve.
Check out this post on Price Matching for Tips & Tricks!
3. Check your closets and drawers.
Before you buy anything, check and see what you already have. Chances are you have pens, pencils, and other supplies stashed away in junk drawers that are perfectly usable. Get all of these items out and take them into consideration before shopping.
This also applies to Clothes Shopping, I find if I make a list of what I need and then take inventory of what I have that I buy less because I’ve created a plan and pulled from what I have on hand first.
4. Shop from a list.
Be sure to print out the school’s official school supply list so you know exactly what you need. This will keep your purchases focused and keep you from buying items your child won’t be using.
You can download our School Supplies Price List Here, this has an area to create your own personalized shopping list of all the items you need for all your kids.
5. Skip licensed items.
Sure a Hello Kitty or One Direction folder is fun, but it will cost more than the solid colored folder. This will be the case with many licensed items. Instead, opt for the solid colors which most schools prefer, and typically cost less.
6. Stock up at penny sales.
Office Max and other office supply stores typically run penny sales during back to school season. You are often limited to how much you can buy so shop with a friend or two. This way, you can get all of the pencils, crayons, and glue you need for as low as a penny each.
Each week we post the Office Depot & Office Max Penny Sales on this page, Staples also has been running extreme deals each week for super low prices!
7. Shop solo, if possible.
If you can get away with shopping for school supplies alone, do it! This way you are talked into buying items you don’t need, no matter how fun they look.
8. Don’t forget your dollar spots!
Check out the local dollar store as well as the Dollar Spot at Target to find great deals on back to school items for as little as $1.
9. Try Amazon.
You can find everything on Amazon, school supplies included. For Amazon Prime members especially, this is the perfect way to get budget friendly supplies sent right to your door.
10. Bulk is best.
If you can buy any of your school supplies in bulk, do it. You will pay more up front but the cost per item will be less. This is especially true with pencils, paper, and glue.
11. Know your discount status.
If you are a teacher, many stores such as Big Lots and Michael’s offer teacher discounts on specific days. Some stores offer senior discounts, while others offer military ones. If you can shop at stores that offer you discounts such as these, do it!
Check out this huge list of Discounts for Teachers, some of these are available for Homeschooling families too so make sure you contact your local store for details on qualification.
12. Stockpile those coupons.
This is the time of year you may wish to buy multiple Sunday papers. Chances are they will have coupons in them good on school supplies, as well as all of the sales ads you will need to price match and plan your shopping.
Give these tips a try and you will find that saving money on school supplies is easier than you thought!