Summer is slowly drawing to an end and that means all of the little ones are going to back to school very soon! However, ’tis also the season for back to school supplies and getting them ready for a new school year. All of the major stores have rolled out their back to school deals and schools are sending out their supply checklists, so it’s time to head out and start saving with these awesome tips.
1. Try online stores first
While those sales out at Target or Wal-Mart look very promising, first create your shopping list, prioritize, and head online to see if you can beat those deals. Amazon, eBay, and helpful websites like RetailMeNot and Shop It To Me can all aid in the hunt for the best back to school deals.
2. Wait off on the trendy stuff
Kids can flip-flop their opinion on something pretty quickly, especially when their friends are all part of the current fad and want to be included. Instead of buying up supplies like lunchboxes, pencil cases, and other miscellaneous items with Spider-Man or Barbie on them in the summer, wait until your kids are in school for a few days and let them scope out what their friends have.
3. Start searching your home
Ever find a stray pen in the couch? How about an extra box of crayons in the junk drawer? Before heading out to shop, give your home the once over and scour the area for any extra supplies. You may be surprised at how much spare supplies you have (and how much you save)!
4. Diversify your shopping
Most parents like to get all of the back to school shopping done in one sweep, but, Tara Kuczykowski of Deal Seeking Mom told Reuters that parents should diversify their shopping and head out to the office supply stores more often. She compared her $23 that she spent at Wal-Mart to the measly $7.00 if she spread out her shopping to different stores, especially to places like Office Depot or Staples.
5. Take advantage of the end-of-summer sales
Contrary to popular belief, most kids these days live in t-shirts, hoodies, and jeans. End of summer sales are perfect to pick up multiple t-shirts slashed down to clearance prices as stores get ready for their winter stock. This is especially good for kids still rapidly out-growing their clothes.
6. Seek out student discounts
If you have an older child that needs pricier supplies–like a tablet or laptop–then it is time to seek out student discounts at stores as well as look into resellers. If your son or daughter really wants an Apple device, resellers might be the best bet, but, make sure you only go with a certified reseller and try not to use Craigslist. Other electronics can have added student discounts to them or can be found nearly new on Amazon and eBay.
7. Rent textbooks when needed
Another tip for the college-age kids in your life, this time for those costly textbooks. Instead of racking up the expenses through textbook buying and receiving little in return from buy-back programs, your child can rent their textbooks from websites like Chegg and TextbookRentals.
8. Craft it up
A fun activity for you and your children is Do-It-Yourself craft projects for their school supplies. Most materials can be bought much cheaper and made to be personalized and unique for your child. Some tutorials we recommend are:
9. Use those coupons
Being a coupon site, we have to include a tip on couponing! It is probably one of your best shopping buddies, especially when it comes to buying back to school supplies for multiple children, each of them with their own preferences and likes.
10. Back to school swap
This one comes from Parenting Magazine, which says to host a clothing swap party with moms in the neighborhood with kids the same gender as yours but at relatively different age groups. This way, hand-me-downs don’t go to waste and you can save on clothes!