How to Save on Back to School Supplies

Shopping Savings
on July 31, 2012

When families have kids, spending money on school supplies each year is inevitable. These are necessary items that must be purchased toward the end of the summer so that children will be prepared just in time for the start of the school year in September. While shopping for school supplies can become quite costly, there are ways that individuals can save money when they make their trip to the store.

Make a List of Supplies Needed

First and foremost, it is important to make a list of all the items a child will need during their school year. The typical items that should be purchased for all students are notebooks, pencils, pens, protractors, rulers and binders. A backpack or other type of bag for carrying books may also be placed on the list if the child doesn’t already own one. Optional supplies can include scissors, colored pencils, magic markers, crayons and glue or paste, particularly if the student is in elementary school or will be enrolled in any art classes.

Take Advantage of Tax Free Holidays

The first Friday in August is generally a tax free holiday, and this is a great time for parents to go shopping for their children’s back to school supplies. Any store that sells these items will be in compliance with the holiday, including drugstores, electronics stores, discount stores, supermarkets and other establishments. It is possible to save as much as 10 percent. Parents should also choose a specific store at which to shop for school supplies. Generally, they will likely have one in mind that offers great low prices and a good selection from which to choose. At the same time, it is wise to shop around as well so that the lowest priced items can be obtained.

Obtain Coupons

Looking for coupons for school supplies in sales circulars and penny savers is a good way to save money on kids’ school supplies. If shopping is done online, this can offer an individual even better prices as many online stores offers discount codes to regular shoppers.

Buy Only What is Needed

When shopping for school supplies, it is wise to buy only those items that are needed. It can be tempting to over shop when in a store, but this can lead to the individual spending far more money than they expected or planned to. Any parent who brings their child with them to the store when shopping for school supplies may fall into the trap of buying an extra item at the child’s request. If this is the case, the parent can agree to one additional purchase or have the child buy the item with his or her allowance.

Comparison Shop for Used Textbooks or Rent Them

For older kids who are in college, textbooks are a necessity in addition to the standard school supplies. A good way to save money on these items is to buy them used. However, it is important to research a few different sources before settling on one to buy textbooks as avoiding scams is essential. Many bookstores, including those of colleges and universities, offer textbooks used for a reduced price. It is also possible to find used textbooks cheap at reputable online stores. Some places even offer students the ability to rent textbooks for a semester, which is a great way to save money on these mandatory school supplies.

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