Getting Ready for Back-to-School

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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?

This post is linked to Madame Deals and My Coupon Teacher

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  1. Coupon Teacher says

    I agree with the character items. As a teacher, I know that all it takes is one mean child making fun of another to get them to stop liking a character or at least wanting to carry the book bag. Jansport is expensive for a reason, they hold up really well.

  2. Mrs. Tasha says

    New Follower from Traveling through Thursday! Love your blog. Follow back at

  3. Living on Love and Cents says

    Thanks os much for linking up in traveling though thursday! I already follow you too! I love your blog!

  4. Mandy says

    I'm not very good at using coupons–too unorganized I guess! However, I did actually start some back-to-school shopping this week for my son during an amazing sale at Walgreens! I did what you said in #3, and didn't get everything there though. Only got the things that were on the best sale! If you knew me, you'd be proud of that accomplishment in the world of bargain-hunting!

  5. Jenny says

    I shop all the back to school sales, getting the best prices at each store. I also always by an extra box of crayons, colored pencils, markers, etc. as well as a ruler and pair of scissors. These are the things that get lost or used up the most and have to be replaced. I'd rather buy them now on sale, than pay full price in December when they need replacing.


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