How Not to Go Broke Buying School Supplies This Year

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How-Not-to-Go-Broke-Buying-School-SuppliesThere’s nothing like the smell of freshly-sharpened pencils or the feel of crisp, lined notebook paper. My love for school supplies requires that I save as much as I can when I buy them, so I’ve come up with a few strategies that help ease the potential strain on a tight budget!

Make Room
I like to stockpile items when they are at their lowest prices, and school supplies are no different. In a closet or under a bed, set aside a small tote or box especially for your special deals on school supplies. Keep a list of what you’ve purchased in the box or another safe place and add any new purchases to it. This will keep you from having to dig through the box each time you want to know what supplies you’ve already purchased.
Once this special tote or box is in its place, check around for school supplies you might already have around the house. For example, my son brought home scissors, a pencil box and a bottle of glue – among other things – at the end of the last school year. If the supplies are in good working order, have your kids reuse them during the upcoming school year.

Also Read: Frugal School Lunch Ideas

Shop All Summer
If you wait to purchase school supplies the week before school starts, you’ll be at the mercy of the retail stores providing them. Getting good deals on school supplies requires a little planning that results in a lot of saving.

Make school supplies a regular part of your summer shopping. As you peruse grocery and drug store ads for deals on food, take note of any special deals on school supplies and add them to your list. Make a special effort to look through ads of office supply stores if you don’t already.

There are definitely advantages to shopping before school starts, but there are also benefits to shopping “late.” Once school starts, take advantage of your freedom from your children to look for clearance stickers on school supplies at your favorite stores. You may still have manufacturer coupons that will work with these clearance prices, getting even better deals!

Also Read: Save 50% or More on Back to School Clothes

Pursue the Deals
Finding these coupons may seem overwhelming, but it’s worth the time and effort. Start with the store ads in the Sunday paper, writing down what you need and where you find the best prices. Flip through the coupon ads as well, cutting out any coupons for school supplies.

As you pay attention to both the store and coupon ads, you’ll soon be able to match up the store deals you see with manufacturer coupons that you’ve cut out and set aside. If you want to delve further into couponing, run an internet search (on on our Coupon Database) for the types of coupons you are looking for by brand and type, for example “coupon for Bic pens.” There’s a good chance that you’ll uncover more savings!

Make sure you have a list with the store, the products, and the prices you find to avoid confusion (I usually add this information to my kids’ school supply lists that I get from their school).

Take your list and coupons, and get saving!

This is a guest post by Kelly Wilson, an editor for Teaching Resource Center a place for low-cost, high-quality Teaching Materials and Free Teachers’ Resources.

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  1. Rebecca Smoot says

    I really love your ideas and I pass them on to my daughters and my daughter-in-law. Thanks for sharing your genius with us.


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