9 Ways To Save On School Supplies

9 Ways To Save On School Supplies

School supply shopping was once my absolute favorite time of year… and then I became the person footing the bill for school supplies. Suddenly the joy and excitement of walking down an aisle of notebooks, folders, and colorful pens turned into dread. With inflation what it is today, money saving tips are always appreciated, but especially so when you’re shopping for multiple kids while also trying to budget for uniforms, shoes, and all the other things that come with the start of a new school year.

To save a few bucks this year (and hopefully some anxiety as well), I put together a list of tips when you tackle school supplies this summer!

1. Set a budget, and take your time!

This is the first tip because it’s easily the most important money saving tip. If you go in with no budget or plan in mind, you’ll end up spending way more! The prices of everyday items may not be going down anytime soon, however, you can choose to stick to a budget and take your time to find the best deals or spread your shopping trips over several paychecks.

2. Create an Amazon List, and watch for deals

One of my favorite features on Amazon Lists is that you can see which items from any of your lists are on sale. Add all the items from your school supply list to an Amazon List, and keep an eye out for any discounts that may pop up between now and the start of school.

3. Compare prices, and shop multiple stores

9 Ways To Save On School Supplies

As tempting as it is to just “Drive Up” order the entire school supply list from Target, you may save significantly by comparing prices from various retailers. It may take more time, but if it saves you money, it’s likely worth it in the end.

4. Price match!

Don’t have time to shop at multiple stores? Do the work on the front end to compare prices and sale from retailers and shop at stores that have a price match policy. Big retailers who carry school supplies and also have price match policies include: Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Office Depot. Check each store’s policy before shopping, but this is a great way to save without making a trip to every store in town.

5. Do an inventory of your house

Before you hit the stores, check all the nooks and crannies of your house with your supply list in hand to see if you can find spare packs of looseleaf, notebooks that didn’t get used last school year, or folders that are still in great condition that can be recycled for the new school year. Slap a new label on an old item, and check… one item off the list!

6. Shop the sales, and keep watching

Shopping sales is a way to save money… duh! However, if you keep an eye on sale ads even after you’ve purchased items off your supply list, some retailers allow you to be reimbursed for the difference if the price is lower than what you’ve paid. When the economy is in the toilet, every penny makes a difference!

7. Ask online!

You know those $100 calculators you need in middle and high school that you never use after your graduate? 15 years after I graduated, I found that thing shoved in a drawer collecting dust. I was able to pay it forward and give it to a current student who needed one. A simple Facebook post asking if anyone has a calculate laying around may pay off big in the savings department.

8. Sign up for rebates, discounts, and coupons

When I became a stay-at-home mom, this was huge for my family! I was constantly watching for deals on things we regularly used in our home. Some apps require a little more work to clip coupons and snag rebates, while others are more passive (just connecting your online accounts from retailers you already shop at).

My favorites include:

9. Ask for help

Sometimes, even when you try all the tricks and tips, there is just more month than there is money. If you still find yourself short on funds when school supply shopping rolls around, there are so many non-profits in our area that offer school supplies for families who just need a little extra help! With events like “Back to School Bash” and “Stuff the Bus,” Baton Rouge and surrounding areas try to ensure no child has to go without when it comes time for school.


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