Save TIME and MONEY With These Awesome Back-To-School Shopping Tips
Well, you know the drill…summer just started and they are already rolling out the “Back-to-School” banners at all the stores. My kids absolutely LOVE shopping for their school supplies, what about yours? I can still remember that feeling even after all these years. New supplies are awesome and almost feel like Christmas!! With that being said, as a parent I don’t get nearly as excited. My kid’s supply list seems to grow exponentially every year and we spend a small fortune on pencils and folders. BUT there are a ton of ways to save $$.
Here are some back-to-school shopping tips:
1. Before Back to School Shopping, Get Your Supply List from School Early.
Most schools have the lists online and even a lot of retailers will have them printed for you in the store. If you know what you need, you can start to look for deals through out the summer.
2. Shop Your Home for Great Back to School Items You Don’t Need to Buy
My kids bring home massive amounts of “stuff” on the last day of school. Most of the leftover supplies are not going to be re-used (like crayons, pencils and markers) but items like scissors, rulers, backpacks and pencil pouches can.
So lets talk backpacks. Do you buy a new one every year? If you do…STOP! 😉 (No, I really am serious.) My oldest daughter is going into 3rd grade and she still has the same backpack from kindergarten. The key is to buy a nicer quality one the first time (preferably without characters on it, if your kids are small). The backpack she is currently using was around $30 from Target and still looks great. If you divide that by 4 years, that’s less than $8 a year! Make sure the backpack is made completely of washable fabric, so you can throw it in the wash. You can follow the same rule with lunch boxes, too! Some of our favorite places to get quality backpacks and lunch boxes are Lands’ End and L.L. Bean. They have great warranties for there products.
3. Shop for Back to School Items Online and Get a Game Plan Before Hitting the Stores.
This tip comes from our friends at Top-10-Store who create awesome buying guides for kids products. Stores post their sales online and start discounting items that they call “loss leaders” in mid-July. These loss leaders are items that the store is likely not making any money on, but they are trying to entice you to buy all of your supplies from them. Just taking a little extra time to compare stores could save you a lot of money.
Also, don’t forget to check out our favorite superstore Amazon for all your kids educational needs and sporting good needs. They have great sales in late summer as you are starting to get the kids ready.Check Out Amazon Sporting Good Deals Check Out Amazon Back to School Specials
Many of the major retail stores now have apps for your phone that have special coupons that you can use. Some of my favorites are: Cartwheel for Target and Mperks for Meijer. (Check your favorite stores website to find out if they have one available.)
Tip: If your kids are older, have them find the best deals for you. You can even make it a competition if you have more than one child. Whoever finds the best deals wins_____!
4. Buy what you can in bulk.
If you have 2 kids (or 10) chances are some of the items will overlap. Places like Sam’s Club and Costco sell items in bulk but so do a lot of online retailers like Amazon.
5. Don’t bring your kids to the store with you for all the little stuff.
I know my girls LOVE to pick out their own supplies, but those aisles get CROWDED. Have a conversation with your child about the items they really want to pick out themselves, like backpacks or a special folder then plan a day to just do those items. Most of those special things can be found on other aisles and this can save your sanity (especially if you have more than one kid)! 😉
6. Shop early for Back to School.
Last year, one of the items on my daughter’s supply list was a purple folder with pockets. Easy enough, right?!? Well, finding that folder was a headache because all the stores I went to were sold out of that color the week before school started. I ended up finding it, but it took way longer and a lot more gas than I would have liked.
7. Check for student discounts on larger back to school items.
If you have a kid headed to college (or maybe even high school), your supplies will look a lot different than mine. They probably need some higher ticket items, and August is the best month to buy them. Laptops are cheaper when there is competition among manufacturers and retailers. You can get discounts of $100 or more and maybe even freebies, like printers and software.
Do you have a great tip for back-to-school shopping?
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