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Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Back To School | 5 comments

Stocking Up on School Supplies to Last the School Year

back-to-school-suppliesYou thought you bought enough school supplies to last the school year until your child comes home with a note from the teacher asking for more supplies, “Mom, I need a composition notebook, more folders and my backpack ripped.”

No one wants to pay full price for a backpack or notebook that can cost over $3 each! It also never fails that your child will grow during the school year which means you have to buy either more uniforms or school clothes. School uniforms are hard to find in January, especially if the child has to have a certain color shirt or pants. I have several tips for stocking up on school supplies to last through the school year.

1. NEVER pay full price and always buy your school supplies on sale. This way you can stock up on supplies at rock bottom prices and buy enough to last all year.

2. Buy at least 2-3 times the amount you need. If you need five folders, then buy at least 10-15 folders as the plastic ones always seem to rip and your child is asking for more in January or February when the folders are more expensive. Buying 10-15 of them at 10¢ is not very expensive compared to paying 75¢-$1 each or sometimes more.

3. Scour the sales ads during the summer beginning in July. The sale ads start advertising Back to School deals like Staples and Office Depot. Many of them will have penny sales on supplies. Even if there is a limit, it still saves. Many of them may offer this sale two or more times before school actually starts.

4. Make a list of the supplies they run out of during the year like notebooks, pencils, pens, glue sticks, crayons and even school uniforms or paper towels and tissue paper.

5. Buy cheaper replacement items like backpacks and lunch bags. The cheaper ones are good as replacements when you only paid $2-4 for that backpack in August but not so good to spend $20-40 in January or February. This way you can also stress the importance of taking good care of their possessions. When your child is no longer carrying their favorite character they might remember that lesson.

6. Stay away from characters! I know it is hard but they are so much more expensive than the plain folders and notebooks. Some teachers do not want them and prefer the plain items. You might want to find out from your teachers ahead of time. The money you save on not buying those items can be used on stocking up on the supplies you will need for the whole year and not cost you a fortune later.

7. SHOP CLEARANCE RACKS! I cannot stress enough about those amazing clearance racks. I find so many school supplies on clearance even before back to school shopping has started in the early summer months. My drug stores and even the dollar stores are making room for the new supplies, especially character notebooks and folders. You can also find amazing deals on school uniforms as well and that is when I buy my son’s school clothes. I also buy at least one size bigger for those growth spurts that always happen after Christmas. I also take his school pants and turn them into shorts for the spring. As long as they fit in the waist I save by not buying new shorts.

8. Store your extra school supplies either in a box or plastic container. This way all your supplies are in one spot and they stay clean and the notebooks and folders are not bent. Nothing is worse than buying extra supplies to only forget where you stored them. I put mine in a closet next to my gifts. I love shopping in the closet for gifts and supplies instead of wasting time, gas and money going to the store.

I hope these tips will help you to not only save money, but time and sanity by not driving all over looking for loose leaf paper in February. Your children’s teacher will also thank you for being so organized and prepared. Your friends will all be jealous of your amazing ability to produce school supplies on short notice. Of course you can share these amazing secrets with them, but I will leave that up to you.

Bonnie Clause is a Savings.com DealPro and founder of savings blog, ThriftyMommaRamblings.com. She makes it her mission to snag bargains and help others save money.

5 Comments

  1. Excellent ideas.. My kids just came home with a whole new list of stuff they needed for specific classes. Luckily I had backup.

  2. Great advice Bonnie. TY

  3. Wonderful advice to a dad with four kids! Thanks so much !

  4. This is really great advice and never hurts to get a little here and there. So Smart. Thanks for sharing

  5. What a simple way to save and make everyone happy! Bravo, Bonnie!

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