With school quickly approaching and the supplies list ever growing, I thought an.appropriate blog post would be about saving money during the BACK TO SCHOOL season.
Regardless if you have a kid in grade one or their first year of college, school shopping is never cheap....but.hopefully trying out some (or all) of these tips and techniques will offer some savings to the old pocketbook.
1. DO A SWEEP OF YOUR HOUSE.
A lot of the needed items can be found sitting around your house from previous years or projects. Reuse binders, pens/pencils, scissors, rulers and other items that are not likely to wear out quickly.
2. MAKE A LIST AND STICK TO IT.
Making a list will hold you and your family accountable. List only the specifics needed and don't allow yourself to buy extras "just because they are on sale".
3. HIT UP GARAGE SALES / THRIFT STORES FOR CLOTHING/SUPPLIES
Did you know that many garage sales and thrift stores are full of stuff that can be used for the new school year. Perfect items to hunt for are shoes, backpacks, new clothes, and even school supplies can sometimes be found.
4. USE COUPONS AND CHECK FOR REBATES
Coupons are a great way to save. Be sure to check out manufactures websites/social media sites to see if coupons are available. Some products offer mail-in rebates right on the packaging so be sure to save the packaging and the receipts.
5. PURCHASE STORE BRANDS VS. BRAND NAME
You do not need "Brand name" items - for example, Hilroy looseleaf is generally $0.50 or more per package then the store-brand stuff. Same goes for pens, binders, markers, and other crafting supplies. If you child insists on brand name items, make them do some little chores to earn them - this will teach your child to appreciate the added value.
6. BE CAUTIOUS OF THE DOLLARSTORE
The dollarstore is generally a great place to find deals - but be weary on stationary items. Many of these items can be found at Walmart during sales for under $1 - so check out those flyers before heading in!
7. SHOP ONLINE AND USE SWAGBUCKS/EBATES
Shopping online ensure that you won't "add that extra". This way you just select what you need and order away instead of being tempted in store with items in middle rows or on displays that you will find yourself putting into your cart "just because". Also when shopping online be sure to check out rewards sites like Swagbucks and Ebates to gain access to valuable money back opportunities. These sites are both FREE to join and super simple to use. Ebates currently has on a HUGE back to school shopping promotion!
8. SHOP CLEARANCE SALES IN THE SUMMER VS. "BACK TO SCHOOL" SALES
Why wait until Aug/Sept to do your school shopping? Save the crowds and the hassle and do yiour shopping at the end of the school year when school supplies are discounted or clearances. Watch out for "Office Supply" stores though - these stores rarely lower their prices to clearance levels.
9. BUY LUNCH ITEMS AT A WHOLESALE STORE OR IN FAMILY PACKS
Have a Costco membership? Use it! Buy lunchtime snacks in large packs or wholesale. For example granola bars are generally $2-$4 for 6 bars in a grocery store - at Costco you can generally get boxes of 18 for $7-$10 which allows for you to plan out meals in advance.
10. BUY SECOND HAND TEXTBOOKS, DICTIONARY'S, OR REFERENCE BOOKS
Always check for used books where possible. Value Village is a great place to find reference books and text books. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, and textbooks can be pricey brand new - so buying them second hand potentially could cut the cost down by 50% or more. Another great looking place is KIJIJI and AMAZON.