As much as we love the lazy days of summer – with trips to the pool, camping, vacations, and more, we soon have to think about Back-to-School. And with Back-to-School comes the school supply lists!
Don't worry about spending a ton of money on school supplies with these 8 tips to save money on school supplies:
First, you need to collect the school supply lists for any children who are school-aged and create a master list with all supplies needed. I combine the list for both of my boys so I know how much of each item to buy and check it off after I've purchased it. This helps especially when items come in multi-packs. I just open them and split them among my boys.
Shop Your Own House First
Did your child bring home any items from the previous year that can be reused? Or perhaps you have some leftover items from previous back-to-school shopping (from multipacks) that haven't been used yet? Shop there first to see what can be reused or what you already have before you start shopping for everything.
I keep all the extra school supplies in bins in my boys' desks so that my kids can pull from it when they need anything throughout the year. Then, I look there first as soon as I create my master list.
My boys also reuse their lunch bag and backpacks for several years as long as it's not outdated or worn out. I try to buy decent quality and neutral ones that will last for several years.
Find Out How School Supplies are Used in the Classroom
Do you really want to upgrade to the top brands for school supplies if your child is not even going to get to use them? Find out how the teacher will use the school supplies. Will each child have a box with their specific crayons, colored pencils, etc or will the supplies be shared communally across the classroom? If they are shared communally, you probably don't want to spend extra on supplies for an upgrade.
Shop the Loss Leaders
Each week starting in early July and running through the start of school, many stores run school supply sales and include a few items at a deep discount to entice you to not only buy that item, but also shop for the rest of your list at that store.
If you have time, you can buy a few deeply discounted items each week (and check it off your list) until you have everything. I also like to buy extras of some supplies that we'll need more of throughout the year, like filler paper and pencils since they are typically more expensive during the rest of the year.
Each week, you can check out the best back-to-school supply deals so you can decide which items you want to buy.
Know the Best Price for Each Item
Use your price book to keep track of prices for each school supply, so that you can buy each supply at rock-bottom prices. Walmart usually has pretty good prices on school supplies, so you could price out the items you need at Walmart and then try to pick them up at lower prices when they are loss leaders at other stores.
Rather than spend extra money on licensed notebooks, get some stickers and markers and allow your child to personalize their school supplies.
Check the Dollar Stores
You'll want to know the average price of an item before shopping at the dollar store so you don't overpay (if it's less than a dollar elsewhere), but check out your local dollar store for school supplies like pens, pencils, and more.
Shop during Tax-Free Days
If your state has a tax-free shopping day, you might want to consider shopping during that weekend to save tax on your purchase. In Texas, sales tax is 8.25%, so I'd automatically save 8.25% right off the bat. However, be aware that everyone else will also be shopping during those days, so stock may get short and the stores will be busy. Last year, I shopped as early as I could on the first tax-free day for the best selection.
How do you save money on school supplies?