Five tips for last-minute back-to-school shopping
After what seemed like the longest break ever, school has finally started for most students and teachers across the country. Whether it’s in-person or virtual learning, this school year presents its own set of challenges. While this year is not normal by any means, things like back-to-school shopping continue to loom over our heads.
Shopping for school supplies can seem daunting. Between the varieties of notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, and more, the choices are overwhelming—and expensive. Let’s face it—no one wants to spend $40 on notebooks that will more than likely be thrown away in nine months. But, there are more ways to save on supplies besides your typical coupons. Try these tips to make your last-minute back-to-school shopping a breeze.
Find what you already own
Before venturing out to partake in the craziness of back-to-school shopping, look around your home for what you already own. If you already have hundreds of pens, pencils, markers, or crayons, there’s no need to purchase more when you have plenty at your disposal. Plus, you’ll avoid the dreaded begging for the unnecessary 64-pack of crayons—because who needs 64 crayons? No one, that’s who.
Wait until you receive a definite list
Avoid shopping until you have a definitive list of the school supplies you need. Waiting until you know what supplies your kids need will not only save you the hassle of purchasing anything unnecessary but also prevents you from overspending. Kids don’t always need every single item on their list. After school starts, have your child ask their teacher if there are any items they won’t need. By knowing exactly what you need to purchase, you can then take the time to research which stores have the best deals, plus determine a budget.
Purchase supplies after school starts
Try to shop for the majority of your supplies after school starts. It’s okay to purchase any essentials before the school year begins but do the bulk of your shopping the week after school starts. Most stores typically put their remaining supplies on sale, allowing you to make the most out of your money. However, most of the supplies will likely be picked over. If you find an item that is well priced, then go ahead and purchase it because it may not last until it’s time to be put on clearance. If you’re not picky, then wait until stores are desperate to get rid of their remaining school supplies stock.
Dozens of major retailers price match competitors. Retailers want to prove that they have the lowest prices around, so if you’re out shopping and realize you can purchase something elsewhere for cheaper, ask for a price match. Typically, all you need to do is show the competitor’s ad or use your phone to show where you found a better price. However, most stores won’t price match on items that are on clearance or BOGO. But, retailers differ on their price match policies, so check to see what they will or will not allow.
Stock up if you can
If you can, purchase some supplies in bulk. You’ll save yourself from making multiple trips, and you can use supplies the following school year, which ultimately saves you money. Items like pencils, pens, folders, and composition notebooks are great to buy in bulk. However, remember to research where to find the best deals and compare prices per unit to ensure you’re getting the most out of your money.
Back-to-school shopping doesn’t always need to be a hassle. We hope that these tips will help make your last-minute school supply shopping a piece of cake and help you find everything you need to make this school year the best one yet!