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The average parent will spend more than $600 on supplies and clothing for the new school year. Back to school shopping is the second largest spending spree of the year, but you don’t need to spend nearly that much to get the best deals on your back to school needs. Using what you have, timing your purchases around sales, and couponing can help you keep these costs down!
Figure out what supplies you already have
You might already have plenty of school supplies lying around your home. Checking closets, drawers, and bins can help you save money by eliminating duplicates in the future. Chances are you’ll find spiral notebooks, pencils, pens, and other supplies that are unused from previous years. Make sure they still work, as items such as glue sticks dry up over time.
Stick to your list
Teachers will often provide a list of items your child needs for their class, even in college. If you haven’t received a list check your school’s website. Sometimes you can find copies in the store. Don’t buy anything not on the list. While pretty cat folders and binder stickers look adorable, they are not required to get the job done. If you are dead set on getting your child these types of items, wait until after school has started and shop back to school clearance!
Don’t forget the Dollar Store
The Dollar Store has some great bargains on school supplies at the Dollar Store. You can find items such as notebooks, pens and pencils at a great price. Be careful! Sometimes during back to school sales, items such as these will only cost 10-70 cents at larger retailers, making the Dollar Store prices a bad deal.
Shop on during tax-free weekend
Many states have sales tax holidays where shoppers can buy certain items (including school supplies) without paying sales tax! Most are during the first week of August, although some start in July or toward the end of August. You can find the dates for your state’s Tax-Free Weekend here.
Shop for next year
You can get pretty steep discounts by waiting to purchase your items until after the season has passed. Your child will probably need items like pencils, pens, folders, and binders next year. Take advantage of the sales by stocking up on items for next year. These items will be marked anywhere from 30-90% off depending on the store.
Use coupons from the internet and newspaper inserts to save big on back to school supplies. Look for coupons in store circulars and on store websites. These deals change frequently so check back often. If you’re new to couponing, check out my FREE 5 Day Couponing Course for Beginners.
Many of you are dreading the back to school season, especially when there’s still a few more weeks of summer vacation. Trust me, it’ll creep up on you quickly, so be prepared. The most effective way to save money on your shopping is to start planning ahead so you can take advantage of every deal, sale, and coupon that comes your way.