Ways to Save on Back to School Shopping

Posted on Monday, August 7th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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Globe, notebook stack and pencils. Schoolchild and student studiBack to School shopping can be expensive – especially for families with a lot of kids who all need school supplies and clothing at the same time. Fortunately, there are ways to save on Back to School shopping.

Shop the Back to School Sales
Stores that sell stationary, pens, folders, and other school supplies tend to start their Back to School sales in early August. You can compare prices by checking the websites of the stores in your area. Check the prices of the school supplies your kids need at office supply stores and at dollar stores. Pick the store that has the best prices.

Compare Generics to Name Brands
You may be aware that many name brand groceries have the same ingredients as the generic versions – and that the generics are almost always less expensive. The same concept holds true for most school supplies. Buy the generic version of lined paper folders, and pencils. Your total will be less than if you purchased name brand products.

The trick is to pay attention to the sturdiness of the school supplies. If the generic ones, and the name brand ones, feel equally durable, then it’s best to go with the lower-cost generic ones. However, if the generic ones are flimsy, it means they could fall apart sooner than the name brand versions.

Buy in Bulk
People buy groceries and household products in bulk because it’s cheaper than buying those same items individually throughout the year. This technique works well for Back to School items, too.

Purchase multiple boxes of unsharpened pencils now, when they are on sale. (They tend to cost less than the boxes of pre-sharpened pencils.) Store the extras at home. When your child runs out of pencils halfway through the school year, you can “shop at home” for more and save money.

Find Out What You Already Have
Is last year’s backpack still in good condition? Your child might be able to reuse it in the upcoming school year. Go through your home and gather crayons, pencils, folders, pens, and notebook paper. You might have enough supplies at home for your child to start the first week of school with or to get by until your next paycheck arrives.

Ask the Teacher
If possible, ask your child’s teacher what school supplies are absolutely necessary for your child to bring on the first day of school. Explain that you are struggling financially at the moment, and need to spread out the cost of Back to School shopping over more than one paycheck. Most teachers will understand your situation and be willing to help you make decisions on what to buy first.

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