Are you average? According to the National Retail Federation, the average household with students in grades kindergarten through 12 is expected to spend $549, down from $594 last year.
What should you do to save on school supplies?
1) Reuse Items – I remember heading to our local store every year to buy folders, pens, colored pencils and all those other “fun” school supplies. The problem is we bought these things EVERY year! Most of the time last year’s leftovers were sitting in my old backpack (of course I got a new one every year) and were perfectly usable. Don’t repeat my mistake! Instead, reuse old items like pencil boxes and backpacks and only buy things that must be replaced. MSN Money offers a tip to get children on board with reusing items, “Give your children a specific amount of money to be used for school supplies, and tell them they can keep whatever is left over.”
2) Snag Supplies at Garage Sales and Thrift Stores – With this tip you won’t want to wait until the last minute. When using this tip, you’ll want to start during the summer. You can also ask family members to be on the lookout for school supplies when they are at garage sales. Since summer is garage sale season, you should be able to snag some great deals.
3) Dollar Store – The Dollar store has notebooks, pens, and pencils for only a $1. That’s much cheaper than other retail stores! Again, you’ll want to start looking in the summer. Right before the school year everyone will be searching for these items, so it will be much easier for you if you start sooner. Plus, you’ll be able to forgo that new school year stress.
4) Coupons and Sales – Many stores hold back to school sales. Take advantage of these discounts by combining these offers with coupons. Using websites like RetailMeNot and even just searching Coupons.com can save you big bucks.
5) Shop Strategically – Not all stores will have the same items on sale at the same time. Instead of one giant shopping trip, shop around to find the best prices. Remember, you’ll want to act fast when snagging these deals. The best deals often sell out very quickly.
6) Use Social Media to Save – Many companies are now offering exclusive coupons to their Facebook and Twitter followers. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure to follow your favorite brands to have access to these deals. Don’t have Facebook or Twitter? Get your kids involved! Have the kids look with you at these deals…after all you’re shopping for them!