8 Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping!

It may still feel like summertime, but many students across the U.S. are heading back to school. Back-to-school shopping can be a budget-busting event, especially when Mom or Dad likes shopping for school supplies just as much as the kiddos! Here are eight ways to save on back-to-school shopping to help equip your kids for school without breaking the bank:

  1. Watch for sales – Everyone puts school supplies on sale, but they don’t always put the same things on sale at the same time. Take advantage of rock-bottom pricing on clothes at the local department store, get pens, pencils, and paper at the office supply place, and shop for backpacks at the sporting goods store when these places advertise sales.
  2. Remember the grocery stores – Many grocery stores offer sales on school supplies this time of year, and chances are that you are already there for other things anyway. Sometimes you can take advantage of extra savings along with your weekly grocery purchases.
  3. Check online first – It’s not always cheapest online, but sometimes it is. Don’t just look at Amazon. Check out Staples, Walmart, and your other favorite retailers’ websites as well.
  4. Start early – Nothing pumps up the price of shopping like not having many choices. If you can only find that calculator at one store at full price, what choice do you have? Starting even a week before school starts gives you time to wait for things to be shipped. Starting in the middle of summer could mean getting that calculator on sale for half price.
  5. Stick to the list – Getting five brand-new Trapper Keepers may sound exciting, but that might not be what they really need. In fact, many elementary school children need uniformity in their supplies, not the flashiest swag. Older children might benefit more from thin, lightweight file folders to force into that overstuffed backpack. Check with your child’s school to get a copy of their recommended school supplies list—then stick to it.
  6. Take inventory first – Go around your house and see what you already have. Surely after buying a protractor for five straight years you have one lying around somewhere in your house. Pens and pencils need replacing often, but notebooks that barely got any use are ripe for being reused instead of repurchased.
  7. Split bulk purchases – If you have several school-age kids, or if you know a group of parents, chances are pretty good you could save on some things by splitting up the big pack from Costco among each of the kiddos. That goes double for things like facial tissue, paper towels, and bleach wipes.
  8. Shop without the kids – Unless your family revels in the joy of school supply shopping, go without them. A notebook is a notebook when it’s on the kitchen counter. It’s not the cool notebook that they have to have when it’s on a shelf with all the more expensive notebooks.

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