Tips for Saving on Back to School Shopping

Back to school shopping is quite expensive. You try to catch every sale, but the necessary supplies are all gone. Here are 10 excellent tips to save you the headache and expense of shopping during the rush.

Prior Year’s Shopping List

Many schools offer a shopping list for your child’s grades. They may be on the same sheet as your child’s next grade level. So, keep that list and as the year progresses you’ll know exactly what they need for the next school year. When you catch these items on sale, stock up!

Family and Friends

Some children are very picky about sporting around the latest trends. So, their following school year, they don’t want the same book bag or lunch box. However, if your child doesn’t mind, ask your family and friends for their
child’s prior year school accessories.

In addition, children in middle and high school may no longer need items from elementary school. They may need graphing calculators instead of a general calculator. Children transitioning into these grades would be perfect to gather their old supplies from.

Shop at Discount Stores

Pens, tissue, folders, pencils, and rulers are all items you can get for less than a dollar if you shop at dollar stores, thrift stores, and garage sales.

Children outgrow their clothing fast. So if they are not required to wear uniforms, purchasing clothing can take the bulk of your back to school budget. Shopping in higher end neighborhoods thrift stores could land you great gently used clothing and shoes for your child.

Purchase Quality Items

Certain items you want to purchase high quality. Items such as backpacks can wear out quickly if your child drags them on the floor. It may be worth the extra $40-$50 to purchase a backpack that can last from elementary school through your child’s college years. Lands’ End for instance offers a lifetime guarantee on their backpacks.

Get Creative with Needed Items

Instead of purchasing expensive school supplies, let your child make their own. Using felt, children can sew together their own book cover. You can also use a brown paper bag to cover your $1 composition notebooks and decorate it with cardstock, scrap construction paper, or colored pipe cleaner. Keep your child from losing their rulers and pens by placing elastic headbands across a 3-ring binder’s cover.

Shop at Stores that Offer Price Match

To help save you from headaches and gas, find out which stores in your area offer price matching. Wal-Mart, Target, Lowes, Best Buy, and Sears offer price matching. Some stores also offer an additional discount if you prove the price is lower elsewhere.

Shop Online

Shopping online for school supplies is the best of both worlds. You save time and gas by not driving around as well as not standing in long crowded lines. Start with a few of your favorite money saving blogs and the Sunday paper for tips on the best sales.

Great websites to keep in mind while shopping are Ebates, Upromise, and ExtraBux. These sights do all the work for you by allowing you to shop at major stores while you earn cash rebates on your purchases.

Attend Charity Events and Back to School Drives

Don’t forget to attend local charity events and back to school drives. They offer basic school supplies such as notebooks, pens, and paper, but every bit helps. If there are any items you don’t need, you can donate them to another family member.

Keep Your Receipts

Finally, keep your receipts for your items and keep watch on the sales paper. Many times, you’ll find items have dropped in price lower than what you’ve paid at the same store. Some stores will give you a price adjustment if you still have your receipt.