Make School Supply Shopping Easy
Shopping for school supplies can be nerve wracking to say the least but here are some simple tips to follow to stay sane during the back to school rush. Most schools offer a list of required school supplies that your child will need. If you can get your hands on a copy early enough you can hit the sales, avoid the crowds and save some money too.
Here’s my time and money saving tips for back to school shopping:
Make A Master List
When you have school shopping to do for more than one child and each has a separate list you can simplify by combining all the supplies into one master list for shopping purposes. Tally up the total number of notebooks needed. Do the same for calculators, pencils, rulers, and on down the line until you have every item listed and how many you will need. It’s always easier and usually cheaper to pick up a bundle of items than go back and forth filling each individual child’s list. After you get home, you can divide up the items to give to each child using their own list. This method will save you money since there are always back to school deals on packs of paper, folders, pencils, and other supplies. You can buy a pack of ten folders for less than you can buy a single folder.
Hit The Earlybird Sales
Shop early and often for the best sales. You can get supplies little by little instead of being stressed by fighting the crowds and wrangling kids to buy school supplies the week before school starts. Watch the weekly sales at all the stores in your community and purchase items as they are marked down. Be sure to check with your school (most have websites now) for a list of school supplies needed.
Yes, pencils with fun patterns and glitter pens are cool, but they usually cost a lot more than standard pencils and basic pens. You will save a ton of money buying the essentials rather than trendy styles. Double check your school’s list of supplies as some schools allow only plain colored notebooks, pens, folders, and pencils, anyway.
But, if your child’s school allows for some fun with school supplies, it’s way more practical to buy the plain supplies and dress them up yourself. You can use stickers, paint or markers to decorate your pencils and top them off with a silly eraser top. The same goes for folders and notebooks too. Use your imagination to jazz them up and your child will have a one of a kind! You can usually buy a package of embellishments to share between all the kids for a lot less money than buying decorative supplies.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk saves on just about anything you purchase and school supplies are not different. If you are going to save a bundle on pencils by purchasing 100 of them, then why not do it. You will always need them. Going in with friends, relatives or other parents when buying in bulk can help you all save plus you won’t have to store a ton of supplies.
Big box stores do well for a reason. They buy in mass quantities to offer their customers deep discounts on certain things. Take advantage of this. Purchase a card for yourself or better yet go in together with several friends or other parents to use throughout the year on clothes, school supplies, and whatever else you may need. Membership is usually pretty reasonable, especially if you can share it with a friend. Watch your savings throughout the year and you’ll see the value really adds up fast.
Don’t Forget the Dollar Store
The dollar stores are another amazing place to save money. They’ve become a sensation for a reason. There are certain items that just aren’t worth more than $1 no matter how anyone tries to sell it. Things like paper, notebooks, calculators, pencils, erasers and pens, just shouldn’t take a bite out of anyone’s budget. There’s no reason to spend $3 on a notebook when the very same item is available for $1.
You don’t want to be one of the weary faced parents standing in line at the checkout counter with their arms loaded with school supplies on the day before school starts. And, you won’t if follow these tips to save and have a calm start to school this year!