5 Ways to Save on Back to School Shopping
It’s the most wonderful time of the year again folks…no, not that time, but it is time for Back to School shopping! As we all know, shopping for the school year can be a daunting task, not to mention expensive, and even more so for multiple children (I have 7)! So we put together 5 ways to save on back to school shopping.
Plan Ahead of Time – You usually know ahead of time what basic school supplies your child will need for the next school year. This can vary by school, grade, and even teacher, but when it comes to pens, pencils, crayons, etc., go ahead and shop for them through the year! If you keep it to the basic supplies, like black pens or notebook paper, you can get them when they are on sale or even clearance, then put them away until it’s time to make any last minute specific purchases.
Shop for Deals – When I have my supply list, I start comparing prices between several local stores and a few online retailers. Then I can easily see who offers the best selection and prices, who offers a coupon, and if any store will price match their competitors. This way, even if I’m buying from more than one place, I can either have it shipped to my door, or know exactly what I’m going to buy (and for what price) before I just wander the aisles.
Time for a Fashion Show – No, not really, but this is what my kids always called their “try on my current clothes” session before we went shopping for new ones. Unless your child wears a uniform to school, chances are they are going to want/need new clothes for school. So have them try on what they already have, including socks, shoes, underwear, etc., and then sort through what will still fit them and what should be donated. Then you can have a clearer picture when you shop for the new items.
Stick with the Basics – By basics I mean, don’t go with the newest, latest fads, like light up pencils or character shape erasers or a backpack that makes noise when you press a button. I’m not saying anything’s wrong with those of course, but they don’t always last for long. For example, if your kid is in love with one fairy princess and everything you buy (at a premium) has her image, but all the other girls in her class have a superhero instead, chances are, she’s going to want new supplies. And some items can simply be too much of a distraction in class, or even lead to a problem with theft. There’s a little logic why some teachers & schools ask for plain yellow pencils and red/blue/yellow folders.
Use My Favorite Word – My kids will tell you my favorite word is no and they are being funny, but they are correct. It’s understandable that you want your kids to enjoy their school experience as much as they can. And while some supplies like paper, pens, crayons, etc., are necessary to get school work done, the latest smartphone, professional paint set, or their ninth pair of sneakers are not required to attend class. I find I can usually avoid a fuss if I’m upfront about what I’m willing to compromise on and what I simply will not budge on. And this is a great area to let those older children work or save for those special items, too.
Finding ways to save on school supplies can really make a difference for a lot of families in the community. Especially for those kids who might have to go without if their parents can’t find rock bottom deals on everything they need. That’s another reason that I’m participating in my third year with the #GivingBackPacks event! A group of bloggers around the country will be stuffing and donating over 30 back packs for school children in our community, thanks to Wonderful Pistachios!
For this year’s challenge, I filled my back pack for a local high school student. I tried to include plain/basic supplies that any high school student could use such as notebooks, pens, folders, colored pencils, scissors, etc. Plus, I added a few other items I had in my gift closet like a MP4 player, headphones, portable charger and other little things like that. And let’s not forget the packs of pistachios that the sponsor sent to us in these awesome snack packs. They are great to toss in your lunch bag, back pack, purse, or even a pocket!
Down the street from my house is a family who fosters several children. Because we are so close to the local high school, they will usually take on older children in their teenage years, and I know that buying all those supplies can be a struggle. Especially when they get placements on short notice. So with this year’s #GivingBackPacks event, I took my back pack down to their home along with a note to the parents, letting them know we pray for them and appreciate how much they do for the local foster care system.
I’d like to also thank Real Advice Gal for organizing this year’s event with the bloggers and the Wonderful Pistachios company! If every family could stuff a back pack for a child in need, those children wouldn’t have to go without basic school supplies. Consider stuffing a bag and donating it to a family in need or take it directly to the school for them to give to a needy child.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a sponsored post. The company who sponsored it compensated me with some form of payment or service. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Birgit L. says
Some great advice there – I always say plan ahead and get started early on the shopping to avoid the crowds.
Judy Thomas says
Thank you for the awesome ideas! It is always nice to save on these expenses
Good tips! And love that backpack.
Melissa Black says
Back to School can be so expensive, great tips
These are great tips, including the fashion show and sometimes saying no! It is nice you made the backpack for your neighbors with teen foster children.