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Back-to-School: How to Save Money on School Supplies

Posted: July 24, 2017

It might seem early to start thinking about back-to-school shopping, but starting early and keeping an eye out for good deals means you can save a ton of money. These tips will not only help you save money, but also reduce the stress that comes with back-to-school shopping. 


1. Shop Your Closet & Kid's Backpack First

Before you start your back-to-school shopping make sure you check what you already have. Go through your child's backpack from last year, and take a look at what might be stored in your closet. There's a good chance you may already have some items on your shopping list.


2. Never Buy Everything from a Single Store

Although it may save you time, the absolute worst and most expensive way to do back-to-school shopping is to buy everything from a single store. Even though there may be a few items on sale, you're going to have to pay full price for just about everything else. Instead, start watching for sales early and once you find a good deal, make the purchase. Starting early ensures you'll have plenty of time to buy the things you need when the price is right.


3. Buy on a Tax-Free Day

If you can wait until your state is offering a tax-free weekend to make big back-to-school purchases, you can end up saving quite a bit of money. Here is a list of tax free weekends for the states of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Missouri:

  • Oklahoma: August 4-6, 2017 (Eligible Items: Clothing)
  • Missouri: August 4-6, 2017 (Eligible Items: Clothing, School Supplies, Computers)
  • Texas: August 11-13, 2017 (Eligible Items: Clothing, School Supplies, Diapers, Backpacks)
  • New Mexico:  August 4-6, 2017 (Eligible Items: Clothing, School Supplies, Computers)


4. Hit Up the Dollar Store

You can get some amazing deals on school supplies at the dollar store. The best deals tend to be basic supplies, like notebooks and pencils. 


5. Wait to Buy Non-Essentials

"Non-essentials" include any items your child won't need during the first few weeks of school. Things like calculators, Kleenex, protractors and science project supplies. If you wait to buy these items, you'll be able to take advantage of back-to-school clearance deals. You can save anywhere from 75% to 90% off some items! This is also a good time to stock up for next year.


6. Check Office Supply Stores

Some of the best back-to school deals you'll find aren't at Walmart and Target. Keep a close eye on sales from office supply stores like Staples, Office Depot and Office Max. You might be surprised at the deals you'll find, but you must be quick because they sell out fast!


7. Set Limits

As kids grow older, they will insist on having the "latest and greatest." They may want "character-focused" backpacks and notebooks - products that will quick destroy any back-to-school budget, not to mention they are typically made cheaply. It's important to set limits with your kids and focus on quality and good deals. It's okay to have a few "specialty" items, but make sure most of your purchases are at bargain prices or quality items that will last for years.


What are your back-to-school shopping tricks you use to save money every year?


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