If you are wondering how to save money on school supplies, we have tons of experience in savings. I am excited to share with you some classic tips, as well as some fun new things that help you save this year on everything from pens and pencils, to the clothing and uniforms your kids will be wearing.
How To Save Money On Your Kids School Supplies List
When the dreaded kids school supplies list shows up in the mail, you are probably like me and inwardly cringing. Oh, you may be disappointed that summer is already almost over, but it’s more likely frustration at your soon to be empty budget. Back to school shopping can be a major investment and is often the reason for major stress in families that are struggling to make ends meet. If you want are like most and need to save as much as possible, or simply want to save, these tips are the tried and true methods of saving on your kids school supplies list this year.
Use coupons as often as possible. You knew this would be on the list, but during this season they are especially important. Coupons are often seen in stores, but also in your newspaper, in magazines, and printable online. Combining a great coupon with a sale in store is the perfect way to save a ton of money. I like to include using rebates and various rewards programs under this since they are also great discounts during this season.
Consider using the following:
- Store specific apps like Target Cartwheel
- Email sign ups with emailed coupons
- Rebate apps like iBotta, Checkout 51, Walmart Savings Catcher an similar.
- Ebates, Swagbucks, and similar online rebate apps that earn rewards as you shop.
- Amazon coupons and lightning deals.
- Printed coupons from social media
Price match in store and online. Many retailers will offer price matching during back to school season just like they do during the holidays. This will vary store to store, but it can be a great way to get the item you want at the best price. I especially love doing this when I know that one store offers a better warranty and return policy over the one with the lower price. It adds a bit of security to those big purchases while still keeping the price low enough to manage.
Shop thrift stores. While many back to school supplies won’t be available in a thrift shop, there are a lot that will. Backpacks, shoes, clothing, uniforms, and even things like a desk or filing cabinet are often found in your local thrift shops for a fraction of the price of brand new. These are great places to browse for deals before you head to your other local retailers.
Don’t forget to check online at places like:
- Amazon (Used or Handmade)
Arrange swaps with other families. When it comes to some school supplies, your child will have to make an investment this year, but only use it for a few months and never again. You can easily get together with other parents from your school or area and arrange a swap. This can be done with things like graphic calculators and protractors or school uniforms and sports equipment. These little swaps can easily save hundreds for both parties involved.
Shop at unlikely stores. Don’t forget to check the sales at places that aren’t your typical school supply store. You will be surprised at how many store offer loss leaders during the back to school season. These locations aren’t traditional, but they still offer a great deal and can be easy to grab since others may not be shopping there.
Check these stores and businesses:
- Drug stores like Walgreen’s, RiteAid, and CVS
- Office supply stores like Office Depot, Office Max, and Staples
- Furniture stores
- Grocery stores and convenience stores
- Small businesses and direct sales companies like Mary Kay, Avon, and similar
Buy in bulk. For those classic school supplies like pencils, paper, notebooks, and similar buying in bulk is almost always a good idea. If it offers a significant savings per unit, buying a bulk amount of something that will be used regularly is a great option. You can also easily arrange to split the costs with a neighbor or other family and save even more.
Shop online before purchasing in store. This is so important. Many items can be grabbed online for the same price or cheaper. This saves you frustration in store, and can even save you money. If free shipping isn’t available, look for site to store options that are still free, but only require you going to customer service to pick up the item.
You an also do the reverse of this process. Go in store and find the items you want to buy. Take pictures of the item and their prices, then go home and shop online to find the best deals, or even the right size needed. You can shop many great stores online and find amazing deals on quality products for back to school.
Check online deals on these sites:
- Amazon, Newegg, Best Buy, and Tiger Direct
- Kohl’s, Macy’s, and Nordstrom’s
- Target, Kmart, Sears, and Walmart
Shop tax-free days in your state. This one has become more popular in recent years for obvious reasons. If your state typically charges sales tax, the free tax weekends are a great time to save on big purchases. Not only do they include typical kids school supplies, they include office supplies, some furniture items, clothing, some household supplies, and even electronics like laptops and tablets. It’s a great way to stock up for back to school, but also to save money on items around the house.
This year, you can easily stay in budget and save on your kids school supplies list by following our basic tips. Thinking just a little outside the box is a great way to really save big money easily during back to school sales.