Fool-Proof Tips to Make Back-to-School Shopping Easy on Your Pockets

Katelyn Preston July 29, 2016

It’s back-to-school time, which means parents may still be busy scrambling for the best deals on school supplies. Now that the year has started, even more last-minute discounts may be happening, but it’s still easy to wind up spending way more than you’d planned for. With school supply lists getting longer and more expensive each year, back-to-school shopping is making bigger holes in your wallet than before. If you haven’t taken care of your child’s list yet, remember these tips to keep costs down!  

1. Look Around for Coupons and Deals

Since this is the something you may be doing already, let’s make this exercise a little more worthwhile. Check out the following tips to ace the race when hunting deals and coupons.

Be a smart shopper. Many states offered tax-free shopping days in August but sadly, Arizona is not one of them. You can still save significant money on certain items if you know the best time to grab them. Your probably already got the absolute essentials, but for those items on your list than can wait a little longer, now is the time to get those! Hello September clearance sales! This month is when most stores try to sell off their unsold school supplies and stationary at bargain prices. You can also take advantage of this sale to stock up on the basics — pens, notebooks, tapes, and folders, etc. — in bulk for coming years.   

Try more ways than one to find coupons. This is a tedious exercise, we know, but it’s also worth it. Many brands offer coupons on back-to-school items during this time, and your local paper is the best place to find them. But not the only place to find them.

Watch out for deals in flyers from retailers and office supply stores. Some retailers send online coupon links and discount codes via email. Signing up with them might be an easy opportunity to get these deals.

Don’t forget social media. Following your favorite stores on Facebook and Twitter can give you access to special discounts or coupons that are not otherwise publicized.  

2. Round up the Supplies You Already Have

Before hitting the stores for those last minute necessities, rummage through all your desks, drawers, or craft boxes at home. Chances are you may already have some items lying around from last year’s stock. Make a list of those items and there you have it — savings right under your nose!

Reusing old supplies is also a great way to save up on new buys. For instance, if last year’s spiral notebooks aren’t used up, tear out the old pages, bind them, and re-decorate with a new cover. Doing so also allows for some personalization – fun at any age!

3. Hand Down Items

If you have more than one kid at the same school, consider yourself lucky. There are plenty of items — those barely-used crayons, that half-finished bottle of glue, a bunch of unsharpened pencils, erasers that haven’t quite worn out, sharpeners, folders, pencil holders, rulers etc. — than can be handed down from older to younger children. Basically, anything that’s in good shape is a candidate for hand-me-downs. You can also save the old uniforms for younger siblings once the older ones outgrow them.

However, for this to happen, you should make it a point to target quality over fanciness. That way your kid’s supplies will last longer and can even be used by their younger siblings, saving you more bucks down the road.

Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to be a money drainer. By adopting some smart strategies, you can easily survive the experience without having serious dents in your wallet – even at the last minute!