Shopping for Back-to-School Supplies—Finding Deals to Stretch Your Budget

Although we are in full-time summer swing, many people are beginning their next season preparation: back to school. This includes preparing planning their end-of-summer trip and getting back-to-school supplies before the major rush.

As the economy continues to fluctuate between inflation and the calm before the next storm, many parents are looking for the best deal to save a few bucks. This year, experts tell us that back-to-school spending is expected to hit $41.5 billion this year—almost $10 million more than last year. But if you plan ahead, you can find the best deals and stretch your budget.

Here are some important tips you need to know about shopping for back-to-school supplies and how to save big:

Search for the Deals

First, begin researching your local area. Search online if there are any deals from stores in your specific location and what dates they are happening. You can search for the following:

  • Coupons
  • Cash-back deals
  • Promo codes
  • Bundles
  • Discounts
  • Sales
  • Clearance
  • Final sale
  • And more

Sign Up for Reward Programs:

Many stores offer rewards programs for parents, teachers, and students. You can receive things such as points and free shipping. Every time you purchase an item, you can receive points that can be redeemed at a later date toward a different purchase.

Some stores even offer sales prices to certain members each time they shop. This is a great incentive program to save more with every purchase as you will have to purchase new school items each year—the savings truly add up.

Separate Wants from Needs

It can be easy to fall victim to every amazing item available for purchase. However, in the days of needing to stretch our dollars as far as possible, it is essential to separate wants from needs.

Take your child’s school supply list and only purchase the necessary items. If you have any money left over, you can then make the executive decision on whether you want to splurge a little.

Resale Stores and Thrift Shops

Many people are opting for a different route than spending hundreds—and possibly thousands—of dollars on back-to-school supplies, just to toss them and need to buy more the next school year. Parents are looking to resale stores like Goodwill and thrift shops for their children’s school supplies.

One person’s trash can ultimately be another person’s treasure as paper, pens, pencils, markers, clipboards, and more can easily be reused. You can find these items at upwards of half the price at retail stores. You may even be able to score free items that are hardly used!

Bulk Buying

Costco has the right idea in terms of buying in bulk and saving bulk loads. You can obtain great purchase price discounts by buying items in bundles.

The bigger the order, the more you save. You can even have other parents join on board the new shopping venture where you can all benefit from the bundle and bulk savings that these stores offer for back-to-school supplies.

Online Shopping

As our schedules get busier and busier, parents are searching for more convenient ways to get everything done. Enter online shopping! Thousands of major brand retailers exist online and can greatly improve your shopping experience. No more lines, crowds, or looking for an item that you just cannot seem to find.

The following online stores rank among the most popular for school shopping:

  • Amazon
  • Bags in Bulk
  • Big Lots
  • Costco
  • Office Depot
  • Sam’s Club
  • Discount School Supply
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • DollarDays
  • Dollar Tree
  • Family Dollar

These online retailers offer quick, and sometimes even free shipping. Nothing is easier than being able to view all available inventory without having to leave the privacy and comfort of your own home. Simply search, click, purchase, and receive your entire order within days.

Bottom Line

Just because prices are at an all-time high does not mean that you have to empty your pockets. You can stretch your dollar by looking for discounts, shopping online, using promo codes and cash-back offers, and visiting thrift shops.

By being more mindful of your shopping, opting into rewards programs, and only purchasing what you need versus what you want, you can save a lot of money this back-to-school shopping season. Your children can have the best of the best at a fraction of the price.


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