Are you looking for simple ways to save money on school supplies? Me too! I’m going to share some frugal tips that will help you save money on school supplies and I promise, your kids will never know the difference!
Hang on and I’ll share my simple frugal tips to save money on school supplies, because being a stay at home mom means you need to save as much money as possible. I understand, because I’m a proud stay at home mom who is always trying to pinch pennies too!
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School is Right Around The Corner
As we gear up for school starting again, or maybe your kids have already started school, I’ve had a bunch of questions about how to save money on school supplies. I’m not just talking about pencils, crayons, and notebooks – but also backpacks, lunch boxes, and clothes.
Recently, I’ve been asked these questions about how to save money on school supplies and keep reading to find out my answers to these important money-saving questions:
- How do you save money on school supplies?
- How can I save money on school clothes?
- What stores do you shop at for the best back to school deals?
How Do You Save Money On School Supplies?
Everyone has their own way of doing things, right? I’m no different. I have my system of how I shop for school supplies and I’ll be honest, it’s not that much different year after year.
But, when I do learn a new trick to saving money, I’m all about adopting it for the upcoming years.
I like to save money on school supplies in a lot of different ways, staring with the actual school supply list. I try to find the list for the upcoming school year before the current year is over.
If it’s available (which a lot of times it’s not ready until a few weeks into the summer), I print it out and add it to a special section of my wallet.
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Top 5 Tips To Save Money On School Supplies
- Print Out Your Supply List and Carry It In Your Wallet
- Always Shop The Clearance Bin
- Shop Weekly and Only Buy What’s On Sale That Week
- Hunt For Clothing At Consignment Stores
- Go Shopping At Discount Stores
Before I explain each of these in detail, make sure you download my Get it Free Checklist to make sure you are always getting as much for free as possible!
Want to Stop Wasting Money?
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#1. Print Out Your Supply List & Carry It In Your Wallet
After I’ve printed the school supply list and added it to my wallet, I start to pay attention to any and all back to school sales that pop up over the summer.
Granted, most of these don’t start until July, but if you have the school supply list handy, any time you come across a good sale on crayons or pencils you can grab what you need and cross that item off your list.
#2. Always Shop The Clearance Bin
Over the years, I’ve found that sales can be found in the most unlikely places. You might be shopping at the grocery store one day and while perusing the clearance isle you find that a bunch of notebooks are majorly discounted and sitting in the clearance bin. Score!
Pull out your supply list, and buy as many as you need. You can now cross that item off your list. You never know when you will find a good deal on something you need, so make sure to have your list with you, and make sure to take the time to check the clearance bin!
#3. Shop Weekly & Only Buy What’s On Sale That Week
A big mistake that I’ve made many times myself while shopping for school supplies, is buying everything on my list, instead of only what is on sale that week.
Have you done this too? Where you go shopping because some of the supplies you need are majorly discounted that week – as cheap as a penny for folders and pencils?
You get all excited because that’s a great deal! But as soon as you get to the store you find out that there is a $5 minimum purchase before you can take advantage of the penny deals.
If you have extra kids in tow, you are probably dealing with a lot of added stress while you are at the store and decide you might as well just get everything on the supply list in one shopping trip? Right?
And before you know it, those penny deals that brought you into the store have turned in a very big purchase because most of the supplies you actually needed were not on sale at all. I totally understand, as I’ve done this before myself.
That’s exactly how the store grabs you too! They know those penny deals are enticing and it’s how they get you to come into the store. The trick is to spend only $5 plus the penny deals and that’s it. Then wait until next week to buy the items that are on sale that week.
If you are diligent, you can get great deals on all your supplies, but you have to stick with it, week after week.
#4. Hunt For Clothing At Consignment Stores
I know for my kids, their favorite part of back to school shopping is the backpack, lunch box, and any new clothes they can squeeze out of me! I’ll bet your kids might feel the same way too?!
Another great way to save money on back to school supplies is to shop at consignment stores for clothing.
My mom taught me to shop thrift and consignment stores as a kid for my clothing, and thankfully I was great with this idea!
I quickly learned that I could get a lot more if I bought it slightly used. Some of my favorite clothing items have been found in a consignment shop. Plus, they tend to be very unique pieces and that makes them even better!
A lot of consignment stores offer even deeper discounts on clothes that have been in the store for 30 days or more – a lot of times offering them at half off! Talk about a great deal!
There are many times that I’ve found an item I love and have waited until it’s gone half off before buying it. Granted, you never know if that item will still be waiting there if you come back, but many times this has worked out great for me!
We Buy Needs, They Buy Wants
In our house, we buy stuff our kids need, but often, they want a lot of things they don’t actually need. My daughter was in this situation just last week.
She has been working all summer and earning her own money. This week, she decided she would really like a new pair of light colored Converse shoes for school.
I suggested we try our local consignment shop first, before checking at one of our discount stores (Marshalls and Ross). Sometimes we get lucky!
She thought that was a great idea, and you know what? They had her exact size, of very light colored glittery Converse, that she feel in love with!
They were in excellent condition all for the low cost of $12.99. If you have ever bought new Converse before, you know they cost anywhere from $25-40 new. Obviously, this was a great deal!
She decided to check the clothing racks while we were there and found an Under Armour sweatshirt, pair of jean shorts, pair of jeans, and two shirts that she loved, all for less than $50! Which she happily paid for, with her own money, because she didn’t really need any of these things.
#5. Go Shopping At Discount Stores
After consignment stores, we will make a trip to our local discount stores. I’m talking about stores like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Ross. These stores offer a wide selection of brand names items at a discount. They don’t offer a huge variety of the same item, but tend to have limited quantities of some select items.
To my middle school and high school aged kids, it’s all about brand names for their stuff. I’m ok to jump on this train for a few things, but only if I can find them at a major discount.
If they really want something that isn’t a need, they know they have to pay for it themselves. Shopping at a discount store like this, helps them afford their brand names.
For the last 5 years my oldest son has purchased a very nice, brand name backpack at a discount from Marshalls. The discount is not usually as big as shopping at a thrift store or a consignment store, but when your child wants something brand new, this is a great way to still save money on school supplies.
We also find great deals on lunch boxes at discount stores as well.
There you have it, some of my favorite ways to save money on school supplies that I personally use every year. I hope you can use these tips to find some great deals for your school supplies and keep more money in your wallet!
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