Getting ready for back to school time at the end of the summer is bittersweet. While it marks the end of the summer, it’s also a new beginning. If your kids are anything like I was during my school years, they’re excited, nervous, and ready to start shopping for all those new goodies. I loved my summers, but starting a new year was the perfect opportunity for a fresh start, one that called for a new backpack, fresh pens, and lots of other all-important supplies. But whose parents have the budget for all of that these days?
If you’re finding yourself in a tricky situation, torn between that bank statement and your child’s back-to-school shopping list, you don’t have to suffer any more. There are lots of ways to save money on those little odds and ends. Give your children the back-to-school shopping experience they’re hoping for without going bankrupt in the process. I consulted Great School’s article Ten Tips for smart back-to-school shopping to get some ideas on how to save.
Create the Wish List
Working with your kids and planning ahead can save you some money. After all, when you’re cruising down the aisles of your local Target for supplies, you’ll be tempted enough to make those impulse buys. Keeping your kids from piling up the cart is another story altogether! Avoid these struggles by getting your kids’ wish lists in order before you even load up that minivan. Great Schools recommends you gather all those lists from teachers and compile what’s needed. Go over it with your children and start organizing. As you do, separate what is needed from what your child wants. Prioritize the list and try to get your kids excited about the items you can and will buy for them.
Inventory Your Office & Swap
We all have lots of stuff hanging around at home that’s still new in the package. Round up those packs of untouched notebooks or those funky pens you’ve been collecting for years and let your kids “go shopping” through the stacks. Make it a fun event and invite other families over to participate. Have a supply swap before you go shopping and let your kids trade with their friends. It’s not the same as shopping, I know, but it could be a lot of fun in a very different way. And I’m sure other parents will appreciate the chance to swap some of those office supplies for ones they’re in need of. If your kids still need some help embracing the new tradition, let them personalize or decorate their new supplies together. A shiny new pencil box with their name in glitter is hard to resist!
Shop In Bulk
When it does come time to shop for what’s missing from your inventory, head out for some bulk shopping. Head to the dollar store, a warehouse store like BJ’s Wholesale Club, or online retailers to load up on supplies for this year (and the next and the next). Designate an area to keep all of these extra pencils, rulers, and notebooks so that when you run out, you know where they all are! Next year’s back-to-school shopping will be even easier when you’ve got things stockpiled intentionally. Keep it organized and accessible and encourage your child to hunt down supplies from the space on an as-needed basis.
During the month of August, you’re going to start seeing back-to-school sales popping up all over the place. Keep your ear to the ground, so to speak, or your eye on those storefront windows. Check out your local Staples or shop online with Staples Coupon Codes to get huge deals and discounts every week between now and September. Other places to check out include your local grocery store (you never know!), an OfficeMax, an Office Depot, Target, and Walmart. Hit these stores on a rotating basis, if you’re really dedicated to saving money, and see what the hot deals of the week are. Before you know it, you’ll have an arsenal of school supplies ready and waiting for September.
Find Textbook Savings
If you have kids in college or your high schoolers have to buy their own textbooks, these purchases could be a substantial part of your back-to-school shopping budget. Cut costs here to save overall with great deals from some of the lowest-priced suppliers of textbooks on the internet. Some of my favorite sites carry new and used books at low prices, including Alibris, Textbooks.com, and TextbookStop. You can also learn how to rent textbooks for the semester at even lower costs from a site like Chegg. Sell your old textbooks back to them for cash and then start renting your books for much lower costs. Scaling back on the price of these expensive line items leaves you more money for dorm supplies, fancy backpacks, and the other must-haves on your kids’ wish lists.
School Supply Coupon Codes
I’d be remiss not to mention some of the incredible back-to-school coupon codes we have right here at ShopGala. Visit our School Supply coupon codes to find deals on all kinds of school supplies, backpacks, apparel, electronics, and more to help your family prepare for the back-to-school season. These are just some of the deals you’ll find there right now:
- OfficeMax: Free composition books with select $5 orders
- Buy.com: new customer savings of $10 on your order of $150
- Dell Home: savings on desktop computers and more
- Overstock: take $10 off your order of $200 or more
- JCPenney: Free shipping on orders of $50 or more
- BlissLiving: save 15% off with Back-to-school summer sale
- Casa: Back-to-college special event, 20% off any item with free 2-day shipping on orders of $49 or more
- BooksaMillion.com: save $25 off your $100+ order
Check this page often throughout the month of August to find other ways to save on everything you need to send your kids off for another year of elementary school, middle school, high school, or even college!