As August begins, school is just around the corner. TV ads are filled with reminders to purchase your back to school supplies and get your kids ready for the coming year.

Like many other goods, however, school supplies don’t come cheap. Take into account the fact that your kids no doubt want the latest and greatest, and you could find yourself spending hundreds on pencils, notebooks, and the like.

Getting back into the school routine can be stressful enough without blowing your budget. Before hitting the stores, take a look at these five ways to save money on back-to-school shopping.

1. Plan a Time & Make a List

Taking the time to plan is always a good start to any undertaking. Gather all the lists of supplies for your kids and write out a list of everything you’ll need. Then look at your calendar and plan out sufficient time to shop for everything you’ll need.

As you’ll no doubt require school supplies, clothes, and any extra items, you’ll want to ensure you have plenty of time to hit every store. By creating a solid plan, you’ll save yourself from purchasing items on the fly, which often times leads to extra money spent.

 

2. Host a Swap

When it comes to clothes and backpacks kids often want something new for the start of a new year. That being said, new doesn’t always have to be new from the store, but could simply be new to you.

If you know other parents with kids around the same age, or with older kids who are past your children’s years, host a supply swap. Have everyone bring over clothing or accessories they no longer need and swap yours out for something new at no cost to you. 

3. See What You Can Reuse

Depending on the wear and tear your child’s supplies see, there may be certain items you can simply use again. Backpacks have a tendency to last at least two years, so why not get one more season out of it?

Moreover, examine folders and binders from the previous year and look around your house for any supplies, like spare notebooks and pencils, you may have forgotten. You might be surprised what you already have on hand. Before shopping it’s always a good idea to take inventory of what you already own.

4. Follow Stores & Look for Sales

If you’ve ever liked or followed a store on social media, you’ve likely noticed that you’re alerted to certain sales and deals. Before heading out to the stores, like and follow some of your go-to’s for back-to-school supplies and you might find some great coupons and discounts. 

5. Focus on the Expensive Items

In some cases, you might not find a big discrepancy between prices on items like pencils, notebooks or folder. While this isn’t to say you can’t search for deals on those items, it may be worth it to focus on some of the bigger, more expensive purchases like backpacks, clothes, and electronics. Those are the items that’ll truly cost you, so focus on looking for sales and discounts that’ll really save you money. 

School supplies are no doubt a necessity to set the school year off right. That being said, you don’t have to spend hundreds by purchasing brand name everything, buying new every year, or even buying everything on the list.

Take note of what you have and use a few easy tips and tricks to save money on your school supplies. Your kids will be prepared and your wallet will be happy. 

Where have you found great sales for school supplies? What have you found you can reuse from the previous year?


About Kayla Sloan

Kayla Sloan is a freelance writer who covers business and personal finance. She has been featured in The Huffington Post, Time, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Kayla is passionate about helping people improve their finances so they can pursue their dreams.

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