It’s “Back to School” time, which means shopping for school supplies! I know some people dread this time of the year, while others (me) rejoice! I’ve had several conversations with parents who think school supplies cost way too much money and hate shopping for them. The stores are overcrowded! The school supply aisles are in disarray! It becomes overwhelming, especially when you can’t find the yellow plastic folder with brads. 🙄 Trust me, I KNOW THE FEELING. I’ve figured out a few ways to save me time, money, and anxiety. Here’s how I spent less the $75 on my kids school supplies.
Shop at home
My kids come home at the end of the year with a backpack full of things leftover from the previous year. For example scissors, pencil box/bags, and folders. If it’s in good shape I keep them. We also have a huge craft box. So from time to time, I buy things to keep in there for projects. My husband and I both work from home, so we tend to keep small office supplies. I was able to check several things off the boy’s school supply list just by shopping at home.
Stock Up On Clearance
During back to school time, you can find most school supplies on sale. When the sale ends most of those items go on clearance. I stock up during these times. I always find glue, notebook paper, folders, and other items. Last year I purchased glue sticks, folders, copy paper, and notebook paper. These are items I’m sure my kids will need every year, probably until high school.
This year, I did not need notebook paper, folders, or scissors, because we already had them from last year when they were on sale. However, I did purchase extra notebook paper in case my son needs it. So when you see the back to school supply section say “Clearance”, purchase extra. Even if you are not into stock piling items, you can gift it to your student’s teacher. They always run low on items, and most are too proud to ask, so they end up purchasing it themselves. If they have a wish list, this would be a great time to purchase items from the list. I’m sure they will appreciate it!🍎#teachersaresuperheroes
Buy the store brand
Certain items on the school supply list ask for specific brands, for example, Crayola crayons or Elmer’s glue. I make sure to pay attention to that. However if it’s not specified, I buy the store brand. One item on my kids list was colored pencils. No brand was specified so I purchased the store brand. I did the same thing for storage bags, pens, erasers, facial tissue, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer. They Work The Same.
I remember being self conscious about purchasing store brands until I ordered from a school supply company. They shipped my school supplies to the school for me. When I saw the box at “Meet the Teacher” night, a lot of items were store brand. Half of the class purchased this same box, by the way, but I was embarrassed.😡I sent the teacher an email, and told her that I would bring the correct items to school on the first day. Her reply was that the items were fine and they all work the same. The way my anxiety was set up, I still purchased the items anyway. Now it’s a running joke between she and I. They. Work. The. Same.
It goes without say that shopping online saves time and money. But if you don’t know, most stores offer same day pickup or free shipping. This is a big plus for me! I hate the congested and unorganized school supply section. I would much rather spend 30 minutes -1 hour on my phone, or computer. I usually add all my items to the online cart for several different stores. Just to be sure I am getting the best price. I’m extra so I usually leave my items in the cart for a few days, and check back daily to see if there are any price changes, or coupon offers. For the past few years, Office Depot has given me the best deal. I received all my school supplies within 48 hours. Done, for under $75!!
Just got the majority of the girls’ supplies this past Friday!! Thanks for the tips! I will definitely be looking for the clearance items so I can stock up on the essentials. When do they usually do the supply clearance sales??? Also, I’m not sure if your boys wear uniforms, but I lucked up and found them marked WAY down at JCP last year because they ordered too much and were just trying to get rid of them! Awesome brand (Izod) for SUPER cheap!!!
They are not required to wear uniforms. All my boys want is Dri fit. They hate all clothing items that have buttons and collars.😂🤣 Its fine, because I can rack up on basketball shorts from Academy, and usually find all their shirts from oldnavy, and academy. Clearance is usually a week or two after school starts. I’ll keep you posted! 😉
I also recycle supplies. Heaven is a junior this year and (thankfully) her list is not as long this year as previous years.
I can’t wait for the day. AJ list is much shorter this year. It’s his first year of Junior High. Ashton still has the list that seems to never end. I’m so glad I decided to shop at home, and not throw away their old school supplies.
Good points. I do the same as far as keeping things from the previous year or go to “back to school” events at churches and stuff. I haven’t bought any yet. My daughter will be a sophomore this year and school starts August 13th. I better get on it. I know she’ll need tri-fold boards.
We start August 14th. I hate the crowds, so I shop online. The big or little tri fold boards?
I definitely starts the school shopping in his closet. Pulling out everything he didn’t use last year. My son starting middle school 😩 this year and the supply list not as bad but it’s enough that I don’t wanna deal with a crowd. I’ve become a huge online shopper now even though I work in retail. I will definitely take your advice on shopping on different sites and leaving in baskets to see who have the better deals!
Girl!! It always amazes me how people think that Walmart will have the cheapest prices. Since I have been shop online and compare prices, I
… I have never ended up with school supplies purchased from there. Sure there are certain items, but total purchase has always been from Office Depot.