You should have received your back to school supplies list by now – have you? Most teachers send it in the first few weeks. (If you aren’t expecting one, you can use the sample school supplies list provided here.)
Once, you have the list. First thing that you need to do is- develop a game plan. Next, you would want to sort the list; some of these items need to be stocked up, while others are mere one-time purchases. Once, you are done with that, you can start planning for your shopping.
When it comes to shopping for school supplies, it simply can’t be just ‘go out and shop’. If you fail to buy the right stuff – kids may end up not using them at all. But, if you are ready to put a little effort, and organize your purchase, you can buy better supplies, and save several dollars.
How to organize your back to school supplies shopping
Discuss the ‘must haves’ list with your kids
Check out the recommended ‘must haves’ list sent by the school. If you haven’t received it yet, you can start with this school supplies list. Talk with your kids, and understand their preferences. Their input matters a lot.
Check for leftover school supplies from last year
Check the list – if there are items that were on the last year’s list too; there’s a strong chance that you may not need to buy a few items. Make use of your magical vacuum cleaner, it’s possible that kids haven’t used everything that you bought last year. See what stuff you can find hidden in your kids’ drawers.
Have your coupon books ready
Several stores offer special back-to-school discount coupons. Keep them handy. If you are a regular visitor to a mart, keep an eye on those coupon boards. Those of you, who love purchasing online, search the Internet; you can find tons of discount coupons. You can get discounts on nearly every item in your list. Check this article from lifehacker on how to automate your discounts.
Check for bulk purchase prices
It’s better to buy certain school supplies like pencils, pen, staplers, and glue sticks in bulk. During back-to-school season, stores offer special discounts over bulk purchases; the same is true for bulk online purchases too. Few schools run school supplies stores; they sell these items for zero profits. Contact them. You can make your bulk purchases from these school stores. It’s a great way to save money.
Go online for Tech products
Once you have decided what you like, check online to see its price. Chances are- you will find an online store offering an identical piece at a cheaper rate. While you are at it, look out for ‘Today’s deal’ and ‘Best Buy’ sections – you may end-up buying better products at even lower prices.
Upcycle your attic
Wal-Mart may be cheap, but I know an even better place store, and it’s free – the attic. Search your attic well, you may find stuff that the older kids don’t need, and the younger kids want desperately. Get crafty; you may not have realized it, but a lot of old stuff can be upcycled for reuse.
Get the right stuff
School supplies lists are very specific. It’s quite important that you stick with the specifications. If you can’t find that stuff, it’s better to consult with other parents. ‘What’s required is required.’ If an item is optional, the list would say so. It’s important that you get the right stuff, because if you don’t, the teachers may have to buy it for you.