Let’s face it, school supplies aren’t cheap. The cost can really add up, especially if you have more than one child to buy for. My son starts kindergarten in a few short weeks, and I am almost ready supplies-wise. Keep reading, to learn how you can save money on school supplies. It’s probably easier than you think!
Inventory What You Have on Hand
If you feel you must buy new supplies, the best place to look is definitely online. You can always search for the best prices and the most amazing gadgets to help you out. From your standard stationery to a mobile printer, the internet has it all! Lots of places will even offer items at a huge discount which will make these things much more affordable. On the other hand. you might be surprised by the number of previously-purchased office supplies you already have on hand. Search through closets, drawers, basement storage nooks, etc. If you have a home office, the chances of finding extra school-worthy supplies are even better. If you do have a home office, you’ll more than likely find most of the things you are after are already lurking around that space! If you don’t have a home office yet, you may want to consider looking at some of this office furniture. They can be very useful for all the family, including being a designated spot for the kid’s homework!
Shop Year-Round Sales
Even though school supply requirements sometimes change from year-to-year, things like pencils, markers, folders and notebooks are considered “the basics.” Watch for sales on these items throughout the year. Buy in bulk and put everything away until late August, early September rolls around.
If you’re buying school supplies for older kids, there’s a good chance they’ll ask for the brand name or “trendy” items they think their friends are buying. In this case, use the art of compromise. Let them pick out a couple of more expensive items. For everything else on the list, stick to bargain prices. You could get something like Personalized Pens and other school supplies for much cheaper than the more expensive items, but in the end, at least you know you both would be happy.
Take Advantage of Social Media
It only takes a minute to follow your favorite stores on popular social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It never hurts to go one step further and sign-up for their newsletters as well. Why? Most stores reward loyal followers with surprise coupons and discounts. If you typically shop at more than one store, the savings can really add up.
Leave Credit Cards at Home
Don’t pay for school supplies with a credit card, unless you absolutely have to. Using credit makes it extremely easy to over-spend. In addition, if you don’t pay off your balance every month, you’ll end up paying even more in finance charges.
Watch the Sales
I’ve been watching a few stores since Kindergarten registration in May. (That’s when we received the school supplies list.) When Pottery Barn put their backpacks on sale a few weeks ago, I got my son’s input on what he wanted – and saved quite a bit. (I went quality over cost for the backpack. There’s even a warranty with this bag, and I still spent around $30 for something that should last a while.) I purchased glue sticks for $2 for what I thought were 6 sticks. Turns out there were 8 in a package (I shopped online and picked up in store), and that saved me even more. Little things like that are going to add up to big savings!
These are just a few tips, meant to help you save on school supplies. Remember, with a little ingenuity and advance planning, getting your kids ready for the new school year doesn’t have to break the bank.
How are you saving money on school supplies this year?