Stock Up on School Supplies
Everyone knows that school supplies on sale are par for the course this time of year, but not everyone knows how to get the best deals and make those school supplies last the entire school year! With kids going through pencils like a foodie goes through gourmet chocolate, it's no wonder that 12 pack you bought is gone in two weeks. Follow our handy tips for how to make the most of discount school supplies.
Top School Supply Strategies for Getting Cheap School Supplies
If you want the best deals on school supplies, there are three proven strategies to getting the most for your buck. Now is the time to implement either of them for maximum savings. Our top school supply strategies will have you shopping and saving like a pro!
1. Clip Coupons
If you are a "couponer," you already know about the fabulous savings you can get with a little extra effort on your part. This time of year, coupons can be worked to your advantage. By combining retailer coupons with manufacturer rebates, you can often get common school items for mere cents, and sometimes even free. If you are new to extreme couponing, check out the blog, "Fabulessly Frugal" for a weekly posting of the lowest school supply pricesand how to get them. There are plenty of other sites that can be useful as well. Retail Me Not, Totally Target, and Your Retail Helper are all good examples.
The Downside: It takes some extra leg work and trips to multiple stores for the best deals. Some moms don't have time for extreme couponing and would rather take another path to savings.
2. Be Patient
This strategy is especially helpful for busy moms who don't have time to shop at a million different places. School supplies go on sale weeks before kids actually get into school. Stores capitalize on people stocking up early by charging premium prices up front. In reality, most students don’t really need a lot of school supplies until a week or so after school starts. This is where patience pays off. Around this time, stores want to start clearing the way for Halloween merchandise, and school supplies are offered at deep discounts. Look for clearance school suppliesoffered for 50% off or more.
The Downside: There may be a reduction of selection. Common items like scissors, glue and markers shouldn't be a problem, but your child may have to settle for a generic notebook instead of the Spiderman one he really wanted.
3. Buy in Bulk
This strategy can easily be combined with the first two, though extreme couponing often comes with limits on how many items you can buy at the reduced price. Buying bulk school supplies can save money all year round, so you don't necessarily have to wait for school supply sales in the fall. The trick here is to shop where the retailers shop and get items wholesale. Run an internet search for "wholesale school supplies," and you'll come up with dozens of places to buy items in bulk for dramatically lower prices.
The Downside: You have to buy a lot of a particular item to get the best savings. While purchasing a lot of 300 pencils may seem extreme, it can be a viable option for families with a lot of kids or just moms who want to buy once and be stocked up for years to come.
Whatever strategy you choose, remember to stick to a budget and be realistic about what you buy. Some items, like a quality backpack or graphing calculator, that need to last for years should be considered an investment. Use back to school shopping as a learning experience for your kids and let them help you check off all the items in their list of school supplies.