Hey guys! Please be sure to add your own tips if I missed any!
**After the year starts grab a few supply lists for the next 2 years (My son is in 1st so I would take 2nd & 3rd Grade lists) and buy those supplies when they go on clearance. Sure things can change but they won’t change that much. I have seen 24ct pencils as low as .50 at Walmart after school starts! TRUST ME THIS IS THE WAY TO GO!
** If your child wears uniforms ask the school if they have a donation program. Many times if you donate you can also take some for FREE.
**Always compare prices. Walmart almost always has the best prices, so when I saw 24ct crayons for .30 I jumped on the deal and bought 10 pks. Then when I was at Target I noticed they had them for .25. I was bummed (I know I’m lame). Now I know, just because a store usually beats others, you still need to compare!
** Shop TJ Maxx and Marshalls for awesome back to school finds! They had the cheapest uniform prices in town! The uniform shirts were only 5.99 and the shorts where 6.99! We always buy the kids socks underwear, and white t-shirts here because we can buy them brands that last (Nike & Puma) for prices that are usually cheaper than Hanes! This year Jordan wanted a large book bag (no idea why) but they were outrageous (think $50). We finally found one at Marshall’s we could all agree on for $16.99 and even had enough money left over to get Lexi her first book bag (12.99 for Disney Princess). If you are looking for a fun surprise for the first day of school you can get cute themed supply kits (like the batman kit pictured above) for only $4.99!
** Use coupons and points. Mead for example has a points program where you can collect points and get free products and coupons! People often think there are no coupons on stuff they buy, but I bet your wrong!
** When buying snacks for school lunches check bargain stores like Save-a-lot. Many times these products are made in the same factories as your major brands. If you simply cannot fathom shopping there always go with the off brands. Remember when they recalled not only Peter Pan pb but also Walmart brand? This means they were made in the same place with the same ingerdients! People don’t believe you are paying for the name, but you are!
** Don’t forget to sign up at school to see if you qualify for free or reduced lunch. We don’t have a lot of extra money to throw around on food, but I do like knowing that the kids are getting a hot healthy meal, so I apply. If I get it I do, if not I’ve lost nothing.
** Don’t buy supplies that are crappy! Stay away from pencils made in China and Rose Art supplies. They are cheaply made and won’t last as long as the ones made in the USA.
** Instead of paying for sugary drinks to pack in the lunch box, invest in a really good (and cute) water bottle. Water is free and can be refilled after PE!
** Buy uniforms a little larger than you need them. They SHRINK. Your child will be wearing them every day, that’s a lot of washing! With my boys I always make them wear white undershirts, this helps to keep them from looking silly, until the shirt shrinks to fit.
** During the younger grades (when no one cares) I buy cheap $10 sneakers from Walmart. The boys feet grow so fast, and they can kill a pair of shoes in 3 months, so why waste $30?
** Join the rewards programs at staples. They usually offer free products (after rewards) so it’s a great place to start! This is also great for teachers gifts! They can never get enough EXPO!
** Shop for back to school items on the tax-free holidays!
** Check ebay, e-deals, and craig’s list for used supplies and books(especially homeschoolers)!
** Check the sales papers the weeks before school starts and buy the items you need as they go on special sales!
** Use sites likeswagbucks and survey reward sites to earn gift cards for back to school shoppnig.
** Save on back to school haircuts by checking the local colleges. A college in our are offered free haircuts buy cos students the first weeks of August!
** If you are furnishing a dorm room for your back to school shopping try local thrift shops for the big items.
** If you plan on packing lunches opt for reusable sandwich containers and reusable baggies. This will save you lots in the long run and is earth friendly!
** Always shop with your child’s school supply list in hand. This eliminates buying things you don’t need (or contraband items like rolling book bags)!
** If your children earn money at home (or away) set a limit on what you will purchase and leave the upgrades to them! If they want a Mario backpack that is $5.00 over your budget make them pay the $5. This not only keeps your budget in check but teaches them the value of $
** Check the price per item, just because something is bundled does not make it a better deal! When we bought glue sticks we noticed that the ones in a bundle where .5 more (each) than the ones that where packed 2 per pack.
** For college aged kids always opt for used text books over new. Many college’s even offer an ebay type site for it’s students!
** Buy LL Bean – Did you know they have a lifetime guarantee? They will swap out if the zipper breaks or it gets a hole in it. You pay more to begin with but they are well worth it.
** Shop outlets for back to school clothes! Many times they offer back to school sales. It’s also a good idea to plan for the next year by hitting the midnight madness, black Friday sales they have!