The Back-to-School sales are upon us and it’s a sad reminder that the new school year is just around the corner. I was asked about a price list for back-to-school supplies. Unfortunately, I don’t have a list. However, I’ve put together a few tips on reducing your out of pocket expense. You should also read what My Coupon Teacher wrote on the subject.
1. Keep a supply list with you – You never know when you might be out and see a good deal. Do you have a camera phone? Take a picture of the list. If you have multiple children, I’d recommend making a master list of all needed supplies. For instance, I need a total of 5 (24 packs) of crayons.
2. Store brand may be cheaper - I know we all think of Crayola as the go to product, but Rose Art markers and paints work just as well for a fraction of the cost. That said, when Crayola crayons go on sale for a quarter, I’ll be there!
3. Don’t purchase products all at once – Start shopping now and purchasing a few items each week when they are at a rock bottom price. This week I scored free Bic highlighters at WAGS. They also have $0.09 rulers if you need it, and last week I picked up free scissors and pens at CVS. Check out my weekly Back-To-School Round-Up so you know which stores have the best deals.
4. Consider year round needs - When determining the number of products you want to purchase; think about how many you will need for the year. I like to purchase a couple extra boxes of crayons, glue sticks, pens, markers, etc to use throughout the year. You never know when you’ll need an item for the kids craft box, your desk or when a teacher will ask for a donation. Most of you practice the stockpiling method for food, right?
5. Think long-term for backpacks – I know the character backpacks are cute. We have them. Remember LuLu’s Dora birthday cake? She has the backpack and lunch bag too. The kids tend to grow out of the character designs quickly, though. When I purchase new backpacks next year; I’ll think of quality, practicality, and longevity.
If you’re purchasing a new Character set, consider shopping at Toys R Us when they offer a free lunch bag ($9.99 value) when you buy a backpack. Just watch the lunch bag shape. I learned that round makes it difficult to get lunches/containers to fit inside.
6. Check your cabinets – Do an inventory of what you already have on hand before heading to the store. I purchased extra cute pocket folders when they went on clearance at Target last year. Also, the kids need a total of 3 containers of baby wipes and 4 boxes of tissues. I have 2 baby wipes and all 4 boxes of tissues that I picked up for free. I just slashed my expense by not buying items I already had on hand.
Do you have any tips for back-to-school?