The Back to School shopping season is here and that means that parents everywhere are seeing a lot of dollar signs. The costs associated with sending your child to school can add up very quickly. There is no need to bust your budget. It is very easy to save money on school supplies each year.
The Best Ways to Save Money on School Supplies
1. Create a budget! Determine how much money you will spend per student in the area of school supplies, school clothes, and accessories. Take out cash or record every purchase made so you make sure you stay within your budget. This is a great way to teach your child that you can only spend what you have budgeted.
2. Start shopping early. The Back to School ads start as early as the beginning of July. Shop the ads every Sunday and determine which store has the lowest prices on the items you need.
3. Save money on gas by price matching. Staples will price match competitors ads that have prices listed. The items must be the price paid in store and cannot be priced matched to rebate prices.
4. Stockpile from year to year. Purchase the penny, nickel, and quarter items to keep for future years. You may not need red folders this year, but chances are that one year you will. Keep a small box of school supplies that you purchased at rock bottom prices tucked away for future years.
5. Stick to the school supply list given by the school or teacher. Teachers often want specific colors of folders or brands of dry erase markers. Be prepared for a second list from the teacher during orientation (or meet and greet). Purchase the items on the list and don’t stray from it.
6. Recycle and Reuse items that you have at home. Sharpen scissors using a piece of foil, sharpen pencils your child received during holidays and birthday parties, dig out the box of perfectly good markers that came home at the end of the previous school year. All of those things are perfectly acceptable to reuse!
7. Plan for the entire school year. A box of crayons will not last a younger student an entire year, so stock up on an extra box or two of crayons when they are on sale during the summer.
8. Set limits. Shopping with children means that you will hear “I want that” and “Can we get this?” about a million times. Tell your child how many items you can purchase that are NOT on the school supply list. Sometimes it just feels good to get one extra special back to school treat.
9. Earn cash back when you shop online. Use Ebates when you are shopping online to earn a percentage back on your purchase. My favorite places to earn Cash Back through Ebates include Lands End, Old Navy, and the Children’s Place.
10. Take advantage of the Tax Free Holiday in your state. During Tax Free weekend some states offer a sales tax break on clothing and school supplies. This is a great time to save!
Do you have other ways you save on your back to school shopping? We would love to hear them!