School supplies cost the average family just over $100 per child. When combined with clothes and other items, this number easily goes above $600. Saving money on school supplies is important. It is best to stock up while pricing is low so that you are not paying full retail later in the year for replacement or refill products.
It is important to research and compare prices with major retailers for school supplies like Walmart, Target, Staples, and Office Depot. Staples is known for offering some items for a single penny. If you have a $0.99 store or Dollar Tree, you can find items at these stores at low prices, but keep in mind that the quality may not be as good and the products may not last as long.
Follow Mom Bloggers
Mom Bloggers and frugal living bloggers share deals and tips for finding the best deals on back to school items. These bloggers also help you create healthy lunches on a budget and help with finding deals on clothes. It is ideal to follow mom bloggers from your local area because they will have the most specific deals and may even have lists broken down with costs for specific schools.
Buy Bulk and Share Costs
Take advantage of bulk store memberships, like Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s Wholesale. When you breakdown the cost per item, you are often paying less than what you would spend buying smaller quantities at Walmart. It is a good idea to work together with a couple of neighborhood families to split the cost.
Use Available Coupons
Use coupons that are available online and in local newspapers to cut costs even more. In combination with some sales, you may even end up being paid to take school supplies home with you if your local area has the right deals to match with your coupons. If you have multiple children, purchase multiple newspapers and print two of every coupon you can find online from every available Internet connected device in the home. This will provide you with an opportunity to save the most money.
Buy Store Brands
Store brands cost far less than name brand. This does not mean that quality is sacrificed, as many store brands are comparable to national brands. You will be able to buy a few extra supplies to replenish throughout the year and stay within your budget. For example, a single subject notebook may be on sale at Walmart for $0.25 for their brand and a national brand, like 3M often costs five times that cost.
If your budget is stretched as thin as it can be, you can seek assistance in your local area. Some local organizations have programs available that help families provide school supplies and backpacks for children in low-income families. There are also organizations that assist with shoes and clothing. Spend some time online researching the best deals and where assistance programs are to be prepared for the first day of school.