If there’s one thing all parents can agree on it, it’s the need for money-saving tips for back-to-school supplies. On average it is reported that Americans spend around $500 on their children’s school supply lists. Here are our best tips to help alleviate some of these costs while still getting your kids what they need.
Money Saving Tips for Back to School Supplies
Reuse Old Supplies
Find any supplies you have at home first. This means things from your home office and supplies that can be used from the previous school year. You can find pencils, notebooks with only a few pages used, half-full glue bottles, and slightly worn scissors or pencil boxes with lots of life left.
Cross any of these items off your shopping list. One of the biggest contributors to back-to-school expenses is the need to have all new stuff for the new year. All of those school supplies don’t have to be brand new. Reusing old supplies can save you a lot of money.
Make A List And Stick To It
Make a school supply shopping list that has everything your child needs for this coming school year. Find out what your child needs for school versus what he or she wants. They don’t need expensive shoes, clothes, lunchboxes, or backpacks, though they may want those items.
Get the children involved with making the list. Remember to be specific also. If your child needs a 24-count box of crayons, don’t get to the store and buy a 100-count box. As a compromise, allow for one or two fun deviations from the list. You could also have the children use their own money to pay for school supplies they really want.
Hunt For Coupons
Don’t just throw those circulars and ads out like you normally would. There are a lot of stores that put out some school supply coupons that could save you big bucks. You could even get your children involved in this money-saving tip. Get some safety scissors out and have the kids cut out any coupons they see for school supplies.
Start hopping Early
Check out your newspaper ads early in the summer. Start in late June or early July. Early summer will be the time to find the best bargain prices, sometimes as low as a penny per item. You will also be able to find a better selection when it comes to things like color choice and quality.
Shop Around For School Supplies
Usually, a store will put one item on sale, with most of the other supplies priced the same or only slightly lower than normal. These stores want to draw you in by that big sale item in the hopes that you will buy everything else there. It’s always best to shop around, whether you’re buying school supplies, food, or clothes. The exception here would be if you find a store that will match competitor prices.
Take A Trip To The Dollar Store
You can save a lot of money on school supplies at your local dollar store. You can find the same name brands from larger retailers on sale for only one dollar or less at these stores. You may not find everything you need, but a lot of times the deals you do find can’t be beaten.
Buy In Bulk
There are always supplies that children seem to lose or run out of throughout the school year. Items like pencils, paper, crayons, and glue are a few of these supplies. You can find these supplies in bulk a lot of times will save you money in the long run.
Go with some family, friends, or classmates and buy basic school supplies in bulk also. This is a great way to save some major money if you don’t have a lot of storage room. And if you find a really great deal (i.e. items for pennies), buy in bundles and stock up. When your child needs those supplies again you won’t have to waste your time, money, or gas by running out to buy new ones.
Hopefully, now you have some idea on how to cut down that school supply bill. It is something you are going to have to deal with every school year. What is most important is that you know how to deal with this sometimes stressful situation. Don’t spend your money if you don’t have to, and take the necessary steps to stay within your budget.