How to Cut Costs When Buying Back-to-School Supplies?


Before shopping, consult your kids’ school lists and see what supplies you already have (look in the junk drawer for extra pens and paper). You can also create a budget item for monthly expenses like after-school care or club fees and one-time costs such as a new backpack or computer.

  1. Shop Around

Many stores offer a variety of items, so you should compare prices to find the best deals. Look for coupons before heading to the store. It would help if you also took advantage of sales tax holidays throughout the country at different times during the year.

These events can save you money on back-to-school purchases. After Labor Day, when merchants attempt to reduce their stock in preparation for the arrival of fall and winter merchandise, some items, such as backpacks and lunchboxes, receive significant reductions.

If you have kids, you can teach them about budgeting by creating a list of what they need for school and assigning them a dollar amount for each item. It will help them stay within their budget and teach them to prioritize needs over wants. You can also help them save money by shopping secondhand. You can score amazing finds at garage sales, thrift stores and consignment shops for everything from clothes to school supplies. You can even use cashback apps to maximize your savings.

  1. Look for Deals

You can score great deals this time of year on all the supplies, clothes and electronics your student needs to return to class. Keep an eye on weekly ads in the paper or online to find out about sales and coupons, and make sure you take advantage of sites like RetailMeNot that give you cash back for shopping.

If you’re a bargain hunter, consider looking for items at thrift and consignment stores, which tend to have good selections of clothing for kids and teens as well as backpacks and school-related gear. Also, check in-person and virtual garage and consignment sales and clearance racks at stores. For some supplies, it’s more cost-effective to buy in bulk.

For example, you can save on things like anti-bacterial wipes, tissues and sanitizing wipes by buying larger quantities from wholesale clubs. Similarly, you can save by buying more than one box of notebooks or several boxes of pencils. And instead of throwing away plastic baggies used for lunches, invest in reusable containers.

  1. Take Advantage of Sales Tax Holidays

In a time when inflation is rising, it’s important to make every dollar count. That’s why it can be worth taking advantage of sales tax holidays if you live in states that offer them. During these times, state and local sales taxes are waived on specific items like clothing, shoes and school supplies.

When considering how to cut costs when buying back-to-school supplies, it’s important to acknowledge that the bad quality of school internet often lags behind due to budget constraints, impacting the overall digital learning experience for students.

The number of states offering these shopping events has fluctuated over the years, but many parents find it’s a great way to save on their back-to-school purchases. It’s also good to look for ways to cut costs by being creative. For example, instead of purchasing tons of new backpacks and lunchboxes, try using reusable ones.

And rather than buying new paper and pens, see what you already have at home. You can also scour garage sales and thrift stores for used clothes, shoes, and supplies your kids no longer need. Or, ask other parents with school-aged children if they’re interested in pooling resources and splitting the cost of supplies like markers and pencils. A collaborative approach like this can be a fun, social way to shop.

Also, read our article about Top MBA schools in the USA

  1. Shop Online

You can save money online on school supplies, clothing, and dorm furniture. Compare prices across sites and use coupon codes, student discounts and cashback rewards. And don’t forget to use apps for deals on school supplies and more without the hassle of waiting in line.

Before taking your kids’ supply lists to the store, rummage through drawers and closets to see what you already have. It’s easy to overlook items you used the previous year. Plus, if something on the list goes on sale later in the year, it might be worth purchasing rather than immediately.

Also, consider shopping at your local dollar store. While these stores might be known for selling junk, they can also offer name-brand products at a fraction of the cost. Remember that cheap doesn’t mean good value, so it’s still important to shop for quality. In addition, some dollar stores get a shipment of clearance items that would sell for much more elsewhere.

  1. Buy in Bulk

When buying school supplies that you’ll need to replace frequently during the year, buying in bulk can help you save money. Buying larger quantities of pencils, notebook paper, and facial tissues can lower prices per item. Shopping in bulk can also save you money by preventing you from purchasing items in different sizes that your children could outgrow too quickly, especially if you have a large family.

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Final Words

Before heading out to buy everything on your back-to-school lists, look at your home for supplies you already have. You might have extra pencils, pens or even binders from last year that could be used again this year. Prices change throughout the back-to-school season, so you never know when certain products might go on sale.

Consider shopping at a wholesale retailer, which offers members a wide selection and bulk discounts. Other retailers provide discounted online bulk supply shipments. You can also find deals on many of these items at stores that run their back-to-school sales.

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