Summer seems to slip away all too quickly, and before we realize it, it’s time to get the kids ready to head back to school. Most schools provide supply lists, but as children move into middle and high school this isn’t always the case. It’s best to start out with the necessities before school starts, then after the first week, pick up the rest of the supplies their teachers might require. Once school begins, you may find that basic supplies are cheaper since the back to school shopping season starts about mid-July.
On top of typical school stationery supplies, kids also need clothes, shoes, backpacks, snacks, and more to start the year off right. Here are some tips to finding and buying back-to-school must-haves while saving you $$$:
Sign-up for store emails
During busy times of year, such as the back-to-school season and the holidays, websites usually will offer coupons and discounts to get you to shop on their site. Also, keep an eye out for Labor Day sales if you’re in the U.S. for some great back-to-school deals and end-of-summer discounts.
Shop super early or after school starts
Everyone is getting ready to head back to school at the same time, which means you either have to hit the stores early, at the end of June or early July, or, head in at the start of the first or second week of school. Stores like Target and Walmart start putting new collections of supplies out when school ends, and most items go on sale after the start of the new school year. For trendy items, like backpacks, lunch bags, and pencil cases, you may want to grab those first since they’ll be harder to find once everyone starts collecting their back-to-school goodies.
Buy in bulk
When shopping in general, you’re guaranteed to save some money if you purchase items that get used-up quickly in bulk rather than as you need them. This applies to shopping for school as well. Buy paper, pens, pencils, and other frequently-used stationery items in bulk to last throughout the semester, or even the whole year!
Save on tech
Some middle schools and high schools provide laptops or tablets for students to use throughout the year or the entirety of their time at school. If you need to make the investment for one of these devices, there are sites like Best Buy that offer back-to-school discounts on laptops and tablets for students. Apple, Microsoft and other companies have education pricing and add-on specials when you purchase certain items for education purposes.
Reuse items from the previous year
Shopping for school items can get pricey, especially if you have multiple kids heading back to school. Have your kids go through all their school items from the previous year to see if anything can be used again for the next year – things like backpacks, large binders, water bottles, lunch bags, and pencil cases tend to last a while if they’re looked after well.
Marking your child’s school supplies is a time and money-saver
As sure as the sun rises, kids will lose things. According to a report from Pixie, more than $2.7 billion a year is spent replacing misplaced possessions. While this encompasses all demographics in the U.S., you can help keep your money and school-related items out of lost-and-found statistics. The best way to keep track of things is to use a custom labeling system. Custom woven sew on labels are perfect to add to outerwear, since these items are removed during the day and tend to get left behind and forgotten. For items like sports equipment or water bottles, a custom stick-on name label that is waterproof will stay on and help keep these valuable items out of the lost-and-found box. You can keep a set of spare, blank laundry labels (that you can write on) for incidental items throughout the year, so that if anything ever gets misplaced, it has a better chance of finding its way back to its owner. Check out our back to school labels to see all our best options for labeling kids’ items.
By shopping smart for school and ensuring all of your kids’ items are labeled, you’ll reduce stress for both yourself and your child, and save money throughout the school year.