There is probably no more worthy expense than school supplies, but all those erasers and binders can add up quickly. Whether you’re into comparative shopping, store-hopping, or buying in bulk, here are some strategies for every school supply shopper.
1 First stop: Your own kitchen drawers
Do you have a metric ton of pens at your house? Perhaps some unopened packages of plain white index cards or 342 promotional pencils? There could be a fortune in school supplies hiding around your own junk drawer. Make copies of the school supply list and send the kids on a scavenger hunt.
2 Save time by stocking up
If you hit the right discount retailer at the right time, you will get the best prices of the year. Why not stock up? Certain items can only be found during late-summer school supply sales. Yes, purple plastic folders with pockets and brads, I’m talking to you! Make one trip now and be done for the year. Double the disposable items on your list, like paper, pencils and glue sticks.
3 Buying less can save you more
Sure, it might be nice to have all the school supplies ready before school starts, but everything won’t get used right away. Stall for time so you can find sales on big ticket and lesser-used items. Who ever busted out a protractor on the first day?
4 Shop, click and deliver
Now is a great time to redeem office supplies store rewards points. If you have Amazon Prime, all your supplies are delivered for free. And Walgreens has a handy “web pickup” program. Order online and let someone else roam the aisles. All you have to do is show up to pick up your goods.
5 Shop brands strategically
We’ve all been down the lonely road of the bargain-brand crayons. It’s not pretty. Sometimes you have to go all out and pay top dollar for the good stuff. However, back-to-school is not one of those times. Find the stores that offer price matching and you can snag all the 10-cent Crayolas and cash in on the other store’s Elmer’s-for-a-nickel promotion, too.