It’s that time of the year again…back to school shopping!
Shopping for school supplies can get expensive. With cuts in education, teacher’s school supplies lists are also getting longer too. Your kids will be asked to bring extras to school for use by the entire class, especially in elementary and middle school.
Before heading out to shop, check out these 5 ways to help you save some money on school supplies for this year.
1. Use tax-free holidays
Many states offer tax-free weekends. During this time you can shop for any qualified school supplies including clothing and technology without paying sales tax. The weekend is usually after the first week of school.
Now, parents have lists of what students will need in hand so they can purchase computers, calculators, binders, flash drives and other specialty items.
2. Shop online supply stores
We often forget about discounts here. Many wholesalers may sell school and classroom supplies in bulk for a deep discount. Places like Oriental Trading Company offer classroom needs in bulk. Check to see if these stores waive shipping fees. That may be comparable to shopping in a regular store. And, don’t forget OfficeMax and Staples for more deals on school supplies.
3. Use coupons
They are a mom’s best friend during back-to-school season. There are thousands of dollars that could be saved each year on all sorts of items if coupons were used consistently. Try combining your coupons with other sales going on to increase your discounts. Definitely use them during tax-free holidays.
For online stores, look up coupon codes for your potential purchases. Visit sites like RetailMeNot and CouponCabin for a list of popular stores with websites that are offering deals on back to school supplies and clothing.
4. Visit Discount Stores
For school supplies you can’t beat the prices at a dollar store. A box of pencils may cost 50 cents. You can stock up on packs of paper for younger kids who don’t need much. But, even here you have to be careful. If you are buying a pack of 50 sheets of paper for a dollar you would get a better deal at Wal-Mart buying a pack of 250 sheets for $1.50. Don’t forget your comparison shopping skills.
Consignment shops and flea markets are other places to shop for back to school deals. You can buy backpacks and other school bags here. For half of what they may cost in the store you can find the latest styles that kids like. And, because it’s name brands that you trust, you can get quality for a great price.
5. Recycle Old Supplies
Do you still have notebooks hanging around? What about folders, binders and colored pencils? If they are still in good condition, use them again. One missing pencil doesn’t ruin the whole pack.
See what you can reuse for another year of school. When you buy a durable backpack, it may last a younger child for three or four years while they are in elementary school. That alone has saved you about forty or fifty dollars per child.