Parents and students spend hundreds of dollars on pencils, notebooks, backpacks, and other school essentials yearly. However, a bit of planning and creativity can help you save money on school supplies without compromising on quality. Check out these tips for saving money on school supplies below!
Reuse Supplies From the Previous Year
Buying new school supplies every year is expensive. By reusing items in good condition, you can cut down on unnecessary spending and put your money toward other things. For example, you may need a new laptop or computer software. Effectively allocate your budget toward more important things.
Moreover, reusing school supplies is environmentally friendly. By reusing items such as backpacks, binders, and pencil cases, you can significantly reduce waste and help preserve our planet’s resources.
Lastly, reusing supplies encourages a sense of responsibility and resourcefulness in students. It teaches them the value of taking care of their belongings and finding creative ways to make the most out of what they already have!
Make a List of What You Need
Creating a list of necessary supplies before shopping helps you stay organized and ensures you don’t forget any essential items. Therefore, you can avoid making several trips to the store. Additionally, making a list allows you to prioritize your needs and avoid impulsive purchases. You can easily stick to your budget.
Furthermore, having a list helps streamline the shopping process. You can efficiently navigate the store, saving you from wandering around.
With a list in hand, you can confidently move from aisle to aisle, checking off each item as you go!
Comparison Shop for the Best Deals
Every store offers products at different price points, and getting the most out of your budget is important. Avoid school supply shopping at one store because you may miss out on savings. By comparing prices across different retailers or online platforms, you can identify where you can get the most value for your money. Locating the deals can lead to major savings, especially for big-ticket items or ongoing expenses.
In addition to finding the best price, comparison shopping lets you compare the features and quality of different things. You can gather valuable information about the performance and durability of each option—helping you pick the best possible product for your needs.
Some stores offer price matching—or when a retailer will sell an item at a more affordable price if you found the exact item for less at another store. So, explore your price-matching options.
Shop Off-Season for Deals
Low demand leads to fair (or low) pricing. Therefore, shopping off-season is a fantastic tip for saving money on school supplies. While the back-to-school season is known for peak demand and higher prices, you can take advantage of discounted prices during other times.
Many stores hold clearance sales after the back-to-school season to clear out remaining inventory. So, you can find discounted items that didn’t sell during the peak season. Clearance sales offer an excellent opportunity to stock up on school supplies at a fraction of their original price.
Additionally, shopping off-season provides a wider selection of products. During the back-to-school rush, popular items might sell out quickly. Luckily, you can avoid the rush and have more choices when it comes to brands, styles, and designs.
Take Advantage of Coupons and Promotions
Using coupons and store promotions for additional savings on your purchases is a great idea. One of the ways to find coupons is through newspapers and magazines. Many publications feature coupons for popular retailers, especially school supplies. Keep an eye out for these coupons when flipping through the pages!
Another convenient option is to search online for coupons and promo codes. Websites like RetailMeNot and Groupon offer coupons and discounts that you can use toward school supplies.
You can also sign up for retail store emails and receive discount notifications. Occasionally, you may receive coupons that aren’t available to the public.
Buy Supplies in Bulk
You often receive lower prices per unit when you buy in bulk—allowing you to stretch your budget further. Purchasing school supplies in bulk also comes with several other advantages. For instance, having a surplus of school supplies readily available eliminates the need for frequent shopping trips. Purchasing in bulk also reduces excessive packaging waste.
Furthermore, bulk purchases offer flexibility in distributing the supplies. You can allocate wholesale school supplies among multiple children, classrooms, or family and friends. Doing so helps you save money and allows you to help others save!
Invest in Multi-Purpose Items
Multi-purpose school supplies can save money in the long run. Instead of buying separate items for each subject or activity, investing in versatile supplies allows students to consolidate their daily essentials. Here are some multi-purpose supplies to consider:
- Pencil Pouch: A pencil pouch can hold pencils and other writing instruments like pens, highlighters, and markers.
- Notebooks with Dividers: Notebooks with dividers can work for multiple classes. Students can separate their notes and assignments by section, eliminating the need for extra notebooks.
- Calculators: Calculators are essential tools for math and science classes. Students can also use them for basic calculations in other subjects, such as home economics.
- Sticky Notes: Sticky notes are perfect for reminders, annotations, or marking important pages in textbooks. They are versatile and ideal for quick references or study aids.
- Dry-Erase Boards: Dry-erase boards are popular for brainstorming, problem-solving, and collaborative work. They also make great visual aids for presentations.
- Index Cards: Students can use index cards for studying, making flashcards, organizing information, and creating study aids. They are portable and convenient for on-the-go learning.
Shop Online for Discount Prices on Textbooks
Most schools reuse textbooks from previous years, so there’s no need to purchase brand-new books when someone has a copy. The only dilemma is finding someone who is selling their books.
Fortunately, online retailers offer gently used and discounted textbooks for reasonable prices. Furthermore, some platforms offer rental options for a fraction of the cost! You’ll likely find popular and niche textbooks for various subjects when you shop online.
Ask Friends or Family if They Have Extra Supplies
Sometimes, friends and family are your best resources for school supplies—especially if they have school-aged children. Ask your friends and family if they have extra supplies. Who knows? They may have certain things missing from your checklist!
You can also organize a school supply swap and trade various things. For example, you may have extra pencil pouches and your friend has extra notebooks. Everyone can leave with their desired supplies.
Look Beyond Traditional Options
Don’t limit yourself to traditional school supply stores. Consider purchasing at dollar stores, supermarkets, thrift stores, and yard sales. You can save in so many ways! Make sure you buy quality items your child can use throughout the school year.