Sometime in mid-July, the front pages of the Sunday circulars scream "Back to School Savings!". While those on the east coast have just started their summer vacations, other parts of the country are already half-way through theirs. Even though we may not be ready for back to school sales, it is a great money saving strategy to stock up on school supplies as soon as the sales begin.
Why is that?
Because the same markers that are 50 cents a box will be three dollars in January when your child needs a new one. July and August are the cheapest times to buy school supplies. Buying items your children will need for the entire school year during back to school savings sales events also saves time and energy. All you have to do is go to your school supply bin instead of running to a store to buy the once again needed item.
Before you shop, you need to delegate a space in your home to store everything before you go out and buy the supplies for the school year. Inevitably, the glue will run out, the pencils need to be replaced, and you need to replenish the paper supplies. The great thing about taking advantage of back-to school savings is that there are no expiration dates on school supplies-your stockpile will not spoil.
If your children's school sends home a supply list, keep it in your purse or wallet so you can bring it with you every time you go out to shop. Stores have sales at different times, so you need to be aware to take advantage of back to school savings.
Staples is known for it's penny sales. They typically run Sunday to Wednesday and there is a different one each week. This year, Staples has been requiring a five dollar purchase to get some of the penny sales. They also offer many very low priced items each week-much like supermarket loss leaders. These also have quantity limits, so bring the kids along for extra savings.
If you like to get rebates in the mail, Staples also has it's Easy Rewards program. Buy a specific product that is on sale, go home and put in the cash register receipt information at the Staples website. It takes about three minutes to fill the code numbers and your address. Then "click" and your check is in the mail! It's that easy!
Target and Walmart has terrific back to sales on everything to save you money. Markers, crayons, colored pencils, and watercolor paints are typically 50 cents a box. They have a great selection and also have various items on sale each week. Your local Target will also have the supply lists from schools in the area, making it easier to take advantage of back to school savings.
If you clip coupons for Walgreens, you will be rewarded with a lot of savings. They have many items for 19 cents, 29 cents, and 39 cents, and they typically have limits of 3 per item. Again, bring your kids with you so you can purchase multiple items.
Backpacks are probably the most expensive item for parents to purchase for their children. Five Below has backpacks for-you guessed it-less than five dollars. Kohl's has big sales too, and if you have a 30% off coupon or coupon code, you can buy the backpacks for less than half-price.
Local supermarkets also get in on these deals, offering discounts on notebooks, sticky notes, marble composition books, and other supplies you need.
Amazon also has some great savings on supplies. There may be discontinued backpacks or marker sets that are reduced in price so new merchandise can be promoted. There is almost always a discount on anything you buy there. And with a twenty-five dollar purchase, you get free shipping. If you are buying school supplies, that is fairly easy to spend, especially if you ahve more than one child.
Another way to get back to school savings on backpacks, lunchboxes, thermoses and folders is to look for these items during the late fall and winter time. Stores need to move this merchandise, since it is no longer back to school time. Walmart has packs of pencils and erasers for each holiday season for one dollar, less when it is after the holiday. If there was a big summer movie, merchandise tie-ins will have to go. If your son or daughter likes this movie and its characters, this is the time for big savings.
With all of the money you save on supplies, you can help other children who parents cannot afford to buy these items for them. Look in your area for organizations, businesses or scout troops collecting backpacks full of school item or simply collecting the necessary supplies. Donate your surplus from the sales to these worthy charities. You'll get a great feeling to go along with your back to school savings.