Parents spend a lot of money each year for back-to-school time. In addition to the school materials, parents also need to buy new clothes, lunches, snacks, and many other items. All the school supplies a child needs to begin the school year can quickly add up. By thinking frugally and searching for money-saving options for school supplies, parents can get their kids back in school without breaking the bank.
All through the year, shoppers can keep an eye out for bargains when they see them for supplies they know their children will need for school. Start early. As soon as one school year ends, begin shopping for the next one. Make a list of the items that a child went through quickly during the last school year and look for bargains on these items throughout the year. In addition, just because it is a new school year does not mean that items from the last school year cannot be used again. Such items as scissors, notebooks, lunch boxes, pencils, pens, etc. that are left over from the previous school year should be used over. It doesn’t even hurt to hit the yard sales. Many gently used items, especially clothing or back packs, are in excellent condition and will save parents a great deal of money when shopping for back to school items.
Look around your home for back-to-school items
Take an inventory of what you have around the home. Parents keep many items of hand in their homes that kids can use for school supplies, such as paper, scissors, glue, rulers, pens, and pencils. Remember, it doesn’t have to be brand new just because it is a new school year.
Buy school supplies online
Buying school supplies online can often save a great deal of money. Many online stores offer free shipping along with discounted prices. Look for stores that also offer coupon codes to save even more. Wal-Mart and other discounts stores are not the only online places to shop for back-to-school. Trying checking out Staples and other online office supply stores to see what kind of deals that have for school supplies.
Don’t forget Craigslist and auction sites like eBay for finding great deals and used goods.
Be on the lookout for discounts and deals
Be sure to grab a copy of all the sales papers around and keep an eye out for all discounts and bargain for school supplies. Some stores begin offers discounted school supplies as early as June or July. Scoop up all those good deals when they can be found! Discounts that are worth looking for include penny per item deals and two-for-one deals. Sometimes, instead of a two-for-one deal, stores offer a “buy one get one half off” discounted prices. Shoe stores do this very often. For families with more than one child, this can add up to a great deal of savings on new school shoes.
Recycle previously used items
Families with multiple children can save money on school supplies, especially school clothes, by re-using old items, or passing them down to the next child. If an older child has clothes that are in good condition and fit the young children in the family, there is no reason not to re-use them. Parents may have to have a talk with their children to teach them about frugal living and why they cannot get brand new items every time a new school year rolls around. It may take a little persuasion, but children can often be more reasonable than we give them credit for. To make this task easier, have children list one of two items that they want “brand-new” and then look for gently-used or bargain items for the remainder of the school supply list.
Back to school shopping is a great way for parents to teach their children about the importance of frugal living. After all, one day these children will also be parents and will have to explain these same lessons to their children. By careful shopping and planning, families can get their children back to school in the right fashion without having to go into debt to pay for back-to-school items.