School is upon us again, and we are all faced with the annual task of getting the supplies on our children’s back to school lists. From paper to pencils to entire wardrobes, our main challenge is not only finding it all at a reasonable price, but finding it period!
If you’re not on the ball, you’ll be scrounging around and trying to make-do with what’s left at your local stores.
So to find the best back to school bargains, you’ll need to get your shopping on sooner, rather than later.
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Here are a few ideas that will help you both know where to go and how to get away with spending as little money as possible.
Big Box Stores
Some people love them and some people hate them, but when it comes to affordable back-to-school supplies, big box stores can’t be beat. It’s nice to have a one-stop-shop where you can buy practically everything on your child’s back-to-school list. But in my experience, you have to be early here as even our local Walmart tends to sell out of supplies very quickly.
Dollar stores used to have cheap products that didn’t always work properly. Now, many dollar stores sell exactly the same merchandise that is sold in other stores, only for less money. Shop around, since dollar stores are similar to other stores in the sense that some are better than others. You may have to go to a few to find exactly what you are looking for.
Things like calculators, rulers, index cards, folders, composition books, and notebook paper are all great Dollar store finds that are usually the same quality as you’d find elsewhere.
Used clothing and items no longer have a stigma attached to them. Not to mention, no one needs to know that your child’s adorable jacket or designer shoes were previously loved. Try out this widely-used secret if you want your child’s clothing and items to be one-of-a-kind, and not just something that everyone else will be wearing or using.
We have a super-cool consignment store called New To You. My girls actually love to go shop there and since I’m on their email list I get coupons sent to me regularly. They always have specials and mark-downs and we usually wind up finding a few things for very reasonable prices.
Apps are a great addition to your child’s back to school purchases, and there are many new ones that can make you and your child’s lives easier. Instead of purchasing a bunch of fancy apps for your child’s Smartphone, though, try out the free ones. From homework helpers, to calendars, to fancy calculators, your child’s Smartphone can be loaded with the newest and best apps for nothing, or next to nothing.
What could be better than not to even have to go to the shopping mall at all? It is now possible to do all your back-to-school shopping from the comfort of your home, clad in your PJ’s. Nowadays you can purchase everything online – from clothing, to supplies, to school snacks… and they’ll deliver it right to your door.
Another great thing is that you can purchase from the stores you normally shop at but earn cash back when you shop online. Check out Ebates if you’re interested in learning how this is done.
Be sure to allow enough time so that if something doesn’t fit right, isn’t what you expected or doesn’t look the way you imagined, you will have time to return, exchange or replace the item before school starts. Online sites such as eBay and Amazon are a great start in your search, and there are many more. You can basically find everything you need online, but if your child really needs (or likes) to try things on, you might want to stick with shopping locally or at the mall.
Back to school shopping doesn’t have to completely drain your wallet of money, and there are a variety of options when it comes to finding all the items your child needs. But competition can be fierce, so get your shopping started now to find the best back-to-school bargains. Your kids will be ready on the first day of school for another great year.
Want more help with your back-to-school shopping? Check out this post to see The Best Way to Save Money on Kids Clothes both locally and online!