School supplies can be expensive, but they don’t have to break your budget. Keep your finances intact while shopping for school supplies during this busy time of year with these simple tips.
Save Money on School Supplies
Stick to the List
School supply shopping is a huge opportunity for companies to market to both children and adults. It might be tempting to get sucked into the marketing and “fancy” school supplies, but this will end up costing you a lot of money. Once you print out your child’s school supply list, take it with you as you shop and cross items off as you purchase them in order to keep you focused on what’s needed versus what’s fancy and available.
Reuse to Save
Some school supplies can be reused from year to year; for example, I always stash my son’s scissors and unused folders that he brings home on the last day of school to use for the following year. Search your home for gently used or new school supplies that might be lying around, including reams of paper, glue, scissors, notebooks, folders and more. Check through the “junk” drawer, craft bins, bedrooms and desks to find where these little money-savers may be hiding.
In addition, you may also be able to find brand new or gently used school supply items at local thrift or bargain stores. These kinds of stores generally deeply discount their products, so you can find useful school supplies in good condition at a fraction of the cost of going to a retail store.
Search to Save
Saving money requires some research, especially when it comes to school supplies. Either in the Sunday paper or on the web, read store ads and write down special deals that you can take advantage of. There are also school supply lists provided by money-saving blogs (like this one) that are organized by store. Be sure to research blogs that are in your region or local area to get the best deals for your corner of the world. Many of them have done the work for you when it comes to finding the best deals on school supplies in your area.
Plan your shopping trip for school supplies for one particular day, especially if you’re heading to more than one store. This will save you both time and money.
Combine and Split
In some cases, it’s less expensive to buy school supplies in large quantities. If possible, get together with parents in the same school or even the same grade as your children to purchase school supplies like pens, crayons, paper, watercolor paints and more in bulk. Before making a purchase, ensure you’re getting the best deal by calculating the cost per unit of each item. Use coupons when possible, then split the cost and the supplies up between families to save some money in order to benefit everyone involved!
written by: Kelly Wilson
Kelly Wilson is a busy mom who saves a ton of money when shopping for school supplies with her two boys.
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