While you’re relaxing on the beach, visiting water parks and planning last minute vacations; back-to-school deals are in full swing. Take a break from the sun and start saving!
1. Shop early to get the best deals! Shopping last minute is not only stressful, but will cost you significantly more money. July & early August typically have the best sales, so get shopping!
2. Check your stockpile before hitting the store. Avid coupon users will likely have a few of the required items already available. You may find extra supplies you purchased last year, tissues, baggies or Lysol wipes in your stockpile. Use what you have in your stockpile now, then wait for the next good sale to replenish the items.
3. Check the condition of school supplies from last year. Ask yourself if anything can be reused. Look at items such as backpacks, lunch bags, pencil boxes and binders. Determine if these products will survive another year. If you purchased a quality backpack, the answer is most likely yes. If the item is in good condition, use it again.
4. Shop multiple weeks at multiple stores. You can get the most bang for you buck by taking advantage of multiple sale offers. Spread your shopping out over multiple weeks and use the deals at multiple stores to increase your savings. However, it is NOT necessary to shop at every store every week. Pick 1 or 2 stores each week with the best deals and shop at only those stores.
5. Take advantage of Reward Programs. Most couponers are already familiar with rewards programs such as Walgreens Register Rewards and CVS ExtraCare Bucks for saving money throughout the year. These Rewards Programs are a great way to save on Back-to-School items as well. You can even “roll” the rewards to further lower your supply list expense.
In addition to the drugstores, office supply stores have Rewards Programs. Stores such as Office Max and Staples will offer products cheap or free after rewards. You can use the rewards earned to purchase more supplies from your list.
6. Price match to get all the savings at just one store. If you don’t want to run to multiple stores for the best deals, you can price match at a stores such as Walmart, Staples or Office Depot. Make sure you bring the competitors store ad with you (the week of the current sale) and purchase the exact same product. Remember that store brands won’t be price matched. Don’t forget that Walmart requires the price to be listed in the ad. Buy One, Get One Free isn’t acceptable unless the price is specified!
7. Use coupons to lower your out-of-pocket expense. Manufactures such as Crayola, #3M and Zebra have already started putting out coupons to entice you to purchase their products. Stores may also advertise an in-ad coupon to get you into the store. Don’t forget about mobile coupons such as those from Target Mobile – no printer or ink required. Want to make the coupon value go further? Combine the coupon with a sale to score a great deal!
8. Use competitors coupons. Office Depot will accept competitors coupons. If you see a coupon in the Office Max ad, you can use it at Office Depot!
10. Use the Back-to-School price Comparison Chart. Each week the Comparison chart is updated to list all the sales from multiple stores for top school supply items. We want to make it easy for you to save money! The lowest price from the previous year is also shown to give you a “lowest price” basis. While we may not see the exact sales as last year, they should be in the ballpark.
Also see Tips for Heading Back-to-School