How to Not Spend a Fortune on School Supplies

Posted on

Photo: Chanintorn.v (Shutterstock)

Like literally everything else right now, school supplies are expensive. The average family will spend $864 on back-to-school items this fall (compare that to just under $700 in 2019), an amount that’s unreasonable at best and out of reach for many.

The best time to buy school supplies is generally July or August—basically, ahead of the back-to-school rush—but that doesn’t mean you can’t find what you need at a decent price if you’re late to the game. Nor are big-box stores like Target, Walmart, and Office Depot the only options for fulfilling supply lists. (With a little bit of planning, you can even get ahead of school supply needs for next year.)

Here are some strategies for keeping school supply costs down.

Inventory what you have and reuse what you can

Before you buy anything, take inventory of what you already have. Look in junk drawers, backpacks, desks, and cabinets to uncover stashes of pens, highlighters, erasers, and art supplies.

There are also some items you don’t need to buy new every year, even if your kid would prefer you did. Backpacks, pencil boxes, binders, sharpeners, scissors, rulers—basically, anything that isn’t used up—can be recycled unless the supply list requires a specific substitute.

Another way to reduce, reuse, recycle: Set up a school supply swap or hand-me-down event with other families. Have everyone bring items they don’t need (purchased for an older sibling who no longer uses it, for example) and are willing to part with or trade.

G/O Media may get a commission

Up to 85% off

Jachs NY Summer Sale

Styles starting at $10
This sitewide sale will prepare you for any style situation that may arise in the transition between seasons—whether it be a henley and jeans or a button up and chino shorts moment.

Shop in clearance sections

Big-box stores are convenient, for sure, as you’re likely to find most of what you need in one place, and that’s worth some tradeoff in cost. If you are heading to Target, Walmart, or an office supply store, look for clearance bins or aisles first. You may want to check for sales and clearance items throughout the year, as well, for items that could be useful in the future.

Look at discount, dollar, or department stores

Your kids don’t necessarily need specific brands of school supplies, and you may find good deals on items in unexpected places: Goodwill, garage sales, thrift stores, dollar stores, and department stores are a few options. Craft stores like Michaels may also have better prices on art supplies compared to Target or Walmart. And however you feel about Amazon, you’re also likely to find decent deals with the convenience of delivery to your door.

Buy supplies in bulk

If you’re buying for multiple kids or have the resources and storage space to stock up on certain items you know will get used in the future, consider purchasing supplies in bulk. You could also coordinate with other families in need of similar items to buy and distribute larger quantities.

Similarly, there are companies that put together wholesale, premade school supply kits, some of which are based specifically on supply lists from individual schools and grade levels. This may not always be cheaper than shopping for individual items, but it’s definitely convenient, and it also keeps you from buying a whole pack of pencils if you only need a small number.

Here are a few places to look for bulk, discount, or wholesale school supplies:

Look for discounts, coupons, and membership deals

Sign up for store email lists to receive notifications about deals, and keep an eye on coupon sites like RetailMeNot. Store apps (like Target’s) may also have special coupons not available elsewhere. If nothing else, ask about discounts or price matching when you shop. Some stores will price-match if you can show a competitor’s ad.

Shop on Sunday or Monday

According to The Krazy Coupon Lady, the best inventory and weekly deals on back-to-school supplies and clothes are available on Sunday or Monday. Restocking may be less predictable closer to the start of the school year, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Reach out to your school district or organizations that donate supplies

You may not have to bear the entire cost of back-to-school shopping for your kids. Some school districts provide supplies to families in financial need, and there are a handful of organizations (such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Kids In Need Foundation) that offer discounted or free backpacks and supply kits. Local churches and community centers also sometimes hold school supply drives.

  

Jasaseosmm.com Smm Panel is the best and cheapest smm reseller panel Buy Instagram Verified badge for instant Instagram likes and followers, Buy Verification Badge, Youtube views and subscribers, TikTok followers, telegram services, and many other smm services. telegram, and many other smm services