Back to school shopping can seem financially and emotionally draining. But it doesn’t have to be!
Here are 5 ways to save money when you’re preparing for back to school, whether back to school means for a graduate degree or for preschool!
1. Repurpose/Reuse: Before you even think about heading to a store, dig around at home and see what supplies you may have laying around. It might surprise you! In a quick sweep of my home I found several new, unused folders, an unopened box of crayons, 3 glue sticks, and a clean binder. It may not be much, but it’s that much less that you actually have to spend money on!
2. Think about what else is on sale at this time and stock up: Retailers take advantage of the back to school shoppers to clear out their inventory before the holiday season. You may see markdowns on electronic items like calculators and laptop computers. Also be on the lookout for dorm-type furniture like bunk beds and desks to be on sale.
3. Skip the name brand and buy generic: I know many class lists include brands like Crayola, Elmers, and Ziploc. I was in Target recently, and they were selling Up & Up Crayons for $0.25/pack. The same size pack of Crayola crayons were $0.50. You save 50% by choosing the generic brand, with no difference in quality. Some items, especially food items, should be purchased as directed as it may affect food allergies.
4. Try Big Lots, or scratch and dent stores, instead of typical office supply stores: these stores often have excellent prices, especially on snacks for lunchboxes. I have found organic granola bars for as low as $1.50 per box at Big Lots in the past. That’s a great stock-up price!
5. Know what you can get for free. Many stores, like Staples, offer a rebate program that offers rebates on school supplies, making them completely free. Check out the weekly office supply store flyers to see what items are offered each week. Last week I was able to purchase 2 reams of printer paper that were free after the in-ad coupon and Staples’ “Easy Rebate” program.
Back to School does not have to break the bank! Will you use these tips when you’re shopping for Back to School?