5 Tactical Tips to Save on School Supplies

For some kids, school is already back in session, while for others, it will commence immediately following Labor Day. Whether your kids are back in school or just preparing to head back, a new school year means the need for plenty of school supplies.

The good news is that there are many ways to save on your back-to-school shopping. With a little planning and preparation, you can spend less on the supplies that your child needs for school.

Check out these 5 savings strategies to save on school supplies:

  • Do a Home Inventory. My kids are homeschooling this year, so I am happy to be able to use up all of the years’ worth of school supplies that have been languishing around the house. Before you buy even one school supply, search your house to determine what new and/or gently-used school and office supplies you already have. You may find that you already have most of what you need!
  • K.I.S.S. Retailers make their money on overpriced school supplies in fancy colors and styles. It can be tempting to buy notebooks with your child’s favorite cartoon character on them or pens in various colors of the rainbow. When it comes to school supplies, it is better to just keep it simple. Look for what you need at the cheapest price. The only exception to this rule is spending more to buy a product that may last longer. For example, instead of buying a paper folder that will be torn up in a week, it may be better to invest in a plastic or vinyl folder that will last all year long.
  • Buy in Bulk. There are some items that you know students will use every school year — like pencils, pens, notebooks, and filler paper. It makes financial sense to buy these items in bulk, especially when you see a great price. Not only will you save on the purchase, but you can keep them on hand to replenish supplies throughout the school year. If you have numerous students in your household, they may use many of the same supplies, so buying in bulk can save you some cents. I have also provided decorative pencils or erasers bought in bulk in lieu of sweets for holiday classroom parties.
  • Shop after School Starts. You should send your child to school with the basics, but sometimes it is not a bad thing to hold off on non-essentials. First of all, not everything on the back-to-school supply list will be used in the first week. Second, you can determine what is really needed for the classes (I have had plenty of school supplies sent back at the end of the school year, because they never used everything requested on the list). And third, retailers start closing out school supplies after school starts, so you can get slashed prices if you hold off for a week or two.
  • Shop the Sales. Sales on school supplies abound during this time of the year. Although many are comparable, some are better than others. Take the time to do a little comparison-shopping using sales papers or by looking online. Make a list of which stores have the cheapest prices for what you require. Don’t forget other unique ways to save, like rebates, discounts on products when you spend a certain amount, percentage or money off coupons, and discount cards. Staples offers all of these ways to save in addition to fantastic sale prices.

And speaking of Staples and savings … Staples is one of 1,000+ merchant websites that offer FREE shipping, exclusive discounts and coupons, and cash back to FreeShipping.com members. Shop from the comfort of home this school year, and get all of the school and office supplies you love from Staples. By combining the tactical tips mentioned above and your FreeShipping.com membership, you are guaranteed to get an A+ in consumer math this school year.