7 tips for budget-friendly back to school shopping

Even though school won’t be back in session for several weeks, it’s a good idea to start shopping for school supplies now.  Discount department stores and office supply stores have weekly specials throughout the summer, so you if you start early, you can pick up the best bargains a little at a time. 

It’s a countdown to back to school, so here are 7 tips for shopping for back to school supplies:

1. Check the local store flyers to take maximum advantage of back to school sales. Hang on to flyers and ads that advertise back to school supplies at a special price.

2. Make a list and get the kids involved. Use the recommended list provided by your child’s chool as a starting point. Sit down with your child and go over the list together. This helps your child to learn to shop wisely and be more organized.

3. Try setting a budget. It helps your kids learn how to set priorities to manage their money and start saving their allowance money for the school supplies that your budget doesn’t allow.

4. Sort and organize last year’s supplies to see what can be used or re-used.  Re-stock your child’s study area.

5. Keep your school supplies list in your wallet, purse or car. As you do other errands, you’ll be able to take advantage of back-to-school sales because you will always have your school supplies list on hand.

6. Buy papers, pencils, notebooks and glue sticks in bulk and set up a supply shelf or storage area at home so that you do not run out of supplies all year long.

7. Get your kids to be environmentally friendly. Motivate them to add pizzazz to last year’s notebook with stickers or photos to give it a brand new look. Encourage them to start a scrapbook bin so that writing on just one side can be re-used.

Finally, remember your budget and don’t be tempted to overspend! 

Register for my free back to school forms, which include a form to combine all of your child’s teacher info, plus morning checklists.  As a bonus you will receive my CastAway the Clutter! Timely Tips organizing newsletter.  Get your back to school forms here


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About Jacquie

Jacquie Ross is a professional organizer, a Certified Life and Family Coach and award winning owner of CastAway the Clutter! A busy person's expert, Jacquie works with professionals, seniors, empty nesters and families to develop strategies to reach their goals, identify any road blocks, and find more meaning in their lives. Learn more about Jacquie’s life coaching and parent/youth/family coaching here at the CastAway the Clutter Blog, and for organizing services, visit CastAway the Clutter! Jacquie can also be found on Facebook
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34 Responses to 7 tips for budget-friendly back to school shopping

  1. Maria Scott says:

    Some interesting tips indeed, life becomes so busy ad hectic during school opening that we forget the basic rules of planning and budgeting the expenses. Seeing the old stationery prior to purchasing the new ones is a wise decision which every parent ought to make. This not only helps for better management of resources but also helps the budget plan.
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  2. Jenn says:

    Going through last year’s school supplies and seeing what can be re-used is a great starting point. For us, it meant not buying lunch bags, pencils, the regular white liquid glue, or scissors. Also, we took advantage of sales (checking flyers) and coupons and saved about $15 on what would have been about $85 total ($60 of that went for two Jansport backpacks).

    Fortunately my children are only going into first and second grade, and I only have two, so the expenses aren’t too bad – yet!

  3. chelesa sims says:

    love the forms .thank you

  4. jan says:

    Thanks for the great tips.

  5. Haylee says:

    What great ideas. This is going to come in handy come next week, thanks!

  6. Lucy Black says:

    Thanks for the post, great tips!

  7. Carrie says:

    Great tips. And so true about looking at last years things and seeing at what can be reused. So often I throw away things instead of reusing!

  8. Sherrie C. says:

    Thanks for sharing these great tips for back to school shopping. It’s always good to buy on sale and in bulk on school items 🙂

  9. Rebecca says:

    Great Tips! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Jennifer Hedden says:

    Thank you for the great tips. I really like the idea of going through supplies from last year to see what can be used. I usually forget to do that. It is also a good idea to keep the list with you at all times because you do never know when you might catch a sale on supplies you need.

  11. Karina Lee says:

    great tips

  12. Melissa Stoneback-Tuttle says:

    Thanks for the helpful hints. 🙂 Love your site.

  13. Ovye says:

    I’ve always had great luck with ad-matching Staples or Office Depot ads at my local Walmart and then using coupons with those… usually for 3M products. I still have a shelf full of Super Sticky Post-Its and a plastic bag of the colorful “Magic Tape” dispensers. ^_^

  14. Suz Saves says:

    These are all great tips! Thanks for this post 🙂

  15. Veronica Lee says:

    Thanks for sharing these awesome tips!
    Have a nice day!

  16. Eliza-Ligia says:

    Thanks for the great tips!

  17. wendy says:

    I overspent every single time. Need to keep these tips in mind!

  18. Christy Maurer says:

    It is a great idea to set a budget, but it is hard to stick to it when it is back to school time! The kids always need what isn’t on the list! thanks for sharing!

  19. Alicia Ponce says:

    These are great tips and I try to budget for every event but back to school shopping if organized can save you money and time. Thanks for sharing.

  20. serena adkins says:

    Thanks for the helpful hints and shopping for school supplies. Thank you!

  21. Nena Sinclair says:

    Thanks for this info, I’m on such a tight budget, this helps immensely!

  22. Michelle F says:

    great tips. thanks for the forms

  23. katklaw777 says:

    Great tips…thanks for sharing!

  24. Sarah L says:

    My tip is to hit the garage sales & thrift stores.

  25. Lua says:

    I definitely love these tips! My son started kindergarten this year, and I bought some supplies early thinking I’d return and stock up again but when I went back, the prices had gone up! Now I know better for next year. 🙂

  26. Tara GAuthier says:

    These are all such great tips. I love the idea of keeping your list with you so it’s not such a big task. I did that to some degree this year.

  27. silver price says:

    Before you shop for back-to-school supplies, it’s best to get a list of what’s required from your child’s school or new teacher. If the school list isn’t available yet, you can still take advantage of back-to-school sales by sticking to the basics that you know your child will need.
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  28. teresa koedyker says:

    thank you for the great tips

  29. Ana Cláudia says:

    I love school shopping