My kids have only been out of school a couple weeks, but the fact of the matter is those back to school deals are starting to trickle in! Given that, it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get moving! As usual, we’ll highlight the best deals we can find like cheap supplies at office stores and free supplies and promotions.
I wanted to give you some general tips for saving money on school supplies this year.
- If you want to wait until August – you’ll be OK! In the early years of my blog, I used to advocate shopping earlier for the best deals. However, after reviewing several years’ of store prices and trends, I’ve changed my tune. Expect good prices clear through August and in some cases, early September.
- Sometimes, it’s worth paying a bit more for name brands. It’s very common to see the generic brands fall to super cheap prices. However, in my experience the name brands may hold up a bit better and give you more for your money. (For instance, I will gladly pay $0.25 more for a pack of Crayola crayons.)
- Read the fine print of sales carefully. Some stores have “penny” type sales where you can get select school supplies for cheap. But, make sure you’ve read the fine print carefully. In some situations, there may be a minimum purchase required in order to take advantage (e.g., “$5-10 minimum purchase”). Additionally, sometimes there may be a limit of how many items you can purchase.
- Watch stores that allow you to stack store, manufacturer coupons and rebate/mobile offers. Target usually puts out some pretty solid store coupons and Cartwheel offers that you can use with manufacturer’s coupons. Fred Meyer sometimes will put out extra bonus and store coupons that will save you 10-20% extra on school supplies. And don’t forget the drugstores – Walgreens and Rite Aid are sometimes surprisingly good options for saving money on school supplies.
- Consider buying in bulk. If you are a homeschooling parent, teacher, or just someone that doesn’t mind really stocking up – Amazon and Costco may be good options to consider as unit prices may be very low.
- Pick up extras! I *always* pick up extra school and office supplies during the year because they are going to be at their lowest prices. I store some of these out in my garage.
I also expect we’ll see manufacturer’s coupons released soon. The best sources to find these are Sunday newspaper inserts, Coupons.com, and occasionally – on the manufacturer’s Facebook and websites.
Back-to-School Stock-up Prices
These prices are to give you a guideline only. I can never predict exactly what new promotions or pricing we may find this year.
PS Since we’re talking about back-to-school, I wanted to let you know I’ve got a great Pinterest board up called Trade-Worthy School Lunches. If you’re looking for some new inspiration this year, make sure to follow along!
Now it’s your turn: I’d love to know your thoughts about back to school shopping! What kind of deals can we help you find? Any other ideas for me & my team as we set out to report on deals for Fred Meyer, Target, and Amazon this year? Sound off in the comments below!