How to Find the Best Back to School Bargains
School starts for us in just 2 short weeks! I’m sure many of you are currently receiving those back to school supply lists and checking out all the clothing deals. From paper to pencils to entire wardrobes, our main challenge is finding it all at a reasonable price. Here are a few ideas to help you get your back-to-school shopping completed with as little money spent as possible.
Big Box Stores
Some people love them and some people hate them, but when it comes to affordable back-to-school supplies, big box stores can’t be beat. It’s nice to have a one-stop-shop where you can buy practically everything on your child’s back-to-school list, or at least to be able to stop there on the way home after you’ve been everywhere else and still have a few items you couldn’t find. Walmart and Target seem to be my go-to places. As much as I dislike fighting crowds at Walmart, they seem to have the BEST prices on just about everything. Target is hit or miss with the low prices in our area. Having four kids in school, I just can’t pay the extra $$ that Target charges for everything. Bummer.
Dollar stores used to have cheap products that didn’t always work properly. Now, many dollar stores sell exactly the same merchandise that is sold in other stores, only for less money. Shop around, since dollar stores are similar to other stores in the sense that some are better than others, and you may have to go to a few to find exactly what you are looking for. BEWARE: Be a smart shopper and do the math. If you see pencils for $1, check out the amount you’re getting. Buying 5 pencils for $1 at the Dollar Stores, yet getting 50 pencils for $5 at a big box store is a big difference. Get those calculators out. Shop Smart!
Used clothing and items no longer have a stigma attached to them. Not to mention, no one needs to know that your child’s adorable jacket or designer shoes were previously loved. Try out this widely used secret if you want your child’s clothing and items to be one-of-a-kind, and not just something that everyone else will be wearing or using. I was SHOCKED when my teenage (15yr old) daughter ASKED me to go thrift store shopping. She said it’s the “in” thing and I’m loving that! PS. Momma found some amazing gently used purses at the thrift store – SCORE!
Apps are a great addition to your child’s back-to-school purchases, and there are many new ones that can make you and your child’s lives easier. Instead of purchasing a bunch of fancy apps for your child’s smartphone, though, try out the free ones. From homework helpers, to calendars, to fancy calculators, your child’s smartphone can be loaded with the newest and best apps for nothing, or next to nothing.
What could be better than not to even have to go to the shopping mall at all? It is now possible to do all your back-to-school shopping from home. You can purchase everything online – from clothing, to stationery, to school snacks… and even have it delivered right to your door. Check out Amazon for school supply SETS. Also, check with your school, sometimes the elementary schools will offer packs for sale! Technology is amazing y’all. I can check 5 stores prices at once online before driving all over town.
Be sure to leave enough time so that if something doesn’t fit right or look the way you imagined, you will have time to return, exchange or replace the item before school starts. Online sites such as eBay and Amazon are a great start in your search, and there are many more that carry various items.
There are also a few items I refuse to buy until I hear directly from the teachers mouth – like calculators. These are expensive and I do NOT want to get the wrong brand. Make sure not to open items like this until they are approved by the teacher.
While crayon and pencil brands don’t differ too much, be sure to spend a little more on backpacks and lunch boxes as your kids get older. If you purchase a $3 backpack, be ready to purchase another one in a few short weeks (or days). If you purchase a cheap lunchbox, beware of hot drinks and big messes due to the quality. I always spend the most on backpacks, lunch boxes, and SHOES for my kids.
Ask Friends – online and more
Did you know we have a SEASONAL SAVERS group online? Unlike our couponing only group, this group talks about savings throughout the year – Black Friday savings, saving money on Halloween costumes, where to find the best deal on Jansport backpacks, and SO MUCH MORE! Join us HERE for our back to school discussion!
Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to completely drain your wallet of money. There are many different places to find all the items your child needs. The competition is fierce, and this works in your favor. Get your shopping started now and they will be ready on the first day of school with all your bargains, ready to do their job.
Not sure when to stock up on back to school deals? Check out this list: