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Back To School Saving Tips

Multi-colored pencils lined up asymmetrically on a white table

Back To School Saving Tips

Can you believe it? It's time to start thinking about back to school supplies. Let me share some back to school saving tips with you. Click To Tweet As we strive to seek out the last precious moments left in summer, we should take advantage of the opportunities for saving on items for back to school.

Whether you homeschool like we do or have cherubs starting back in August or September, you will likely have a list of items to be gathered before starting. Every year, right around the end of July and the beginning of August, we do a deep clean of our homeschool classroom. This time of year is an opportunity to account for the supplies that we need to purchase. You would be surprised how many colored pencils and crayons manage to hide under the table and in the corners of the classroom.

Money Saving Tips

First things first, enjoy the rest of your summer. Spend time with your cherubs and create some great memories before they are back to the hustle and bustle of the school year. Your memory building doesn't have to be complicated. Go to the park and have a picnic. Click To TweetGo to your local splash pad or turn on the sprinklers and run through them. Go to the Farmers Market. Go to the zoo or the museum. Go to the Botanical Garden.

1. Check your closets

Yes. Check your cabinets. Look for excess school supplies you have gotten on sale last year and stashed away. Check your junk drawers and the shelves in your cherubs’ closets. I have found some great things that I hid thinking I would retrieve them during the year. For us, as I mentioned before, we tend to see some inventory stashed in our homeschool classroom. The great news is that these school supplies don’t spoil so one-year-old crayons work very well!

Stacked books on a table topped with an apple, text overlay Tips for saving on back to school shopping

2. Participate in an exchange

So, let’s say your stash that you found on taking inventory in your home is not applicable to your cherubs’ list. No worries! You can bargain with others and exchange your treasure for some of theirs. You can do this in your neighborhood, in your moms’ group, at church, mosque or synagogue, or online. A swap is a great way to save on your back to school shopping while helping out other parents. Don’t know of a supply exchange in your area? Then start one. Post on Facebook or the community center message board, and you will have a solid exchange group in no time flat.

The exchange does not have to stop at school supplies. Get rid of all those clothes that your cherubs have outgrown and help another family out by swapping. There are no hard and fast rules with this. There is nothing to prevent the swap from being clothing for school supplies for example. So why not go through your closets and find your booty for swapping?

3. Shop Around Retail Stores

For us, Kroger has the best price on the 24 pack of Crayola crayons. The catch for such a lovely price is a limit of four per customer. Many local retail stores have back to school sales toward the end of July and early August. You can follow stores on social media to find out about their deals.

Many stores will release their sale price intel to their followers before the general public. Here are a few that are on Twitter that you can follow:

Staples: @Staples

Target: @Target

OfficeMax: @OfficeMax

Best Buy: @BestBuy




4. Don’t Forget The Dollar Store

Of course, the Dollar store is a treasure trove of goodies at an attractive price. We get quite a bit of our homeschool supplies from the dollar store. The inventory is extensive, and their school supply section is usually robust enough to cover a lot of the items on your back to school list. You can stock up on items like pencils, folders, hand sanitizer, stickers, and notepads.

We make multiple trips to the Dollar store over the course of the year to pick up needed items for school lessons. The crafting supplies there are very reasonable as well. So hopefully there is a local Dollar store for you to visit.

focus on a box of colored crayons, blurred child coloring in the background

Photo credit: Aaron Burden

5. Thrift Stores

Salvation Army, Once Upon A Child, The Goodwill, and PlayItAgain Sports are great places to find items needed for back to school. Once Upon A Child is favorite for us because our children grow so fast. Gently used clothing from all the favorite brands at a reasonable price makes these stores very appealing. It is always a great day when we can snag several pairs of pants for our son for under $20.

We have found some adorable dresses for the girls from our favorite brands like Hanna Andersson, GAP, TeaCollection, and J Crew. The best part is that we have been able to sell gently used clothes to the store as well. If you don’t mind waiting for your items to arrive, then ThredUp the online thrift store is an excellent choice for gently used designer clothing at incredible prices.

PlayItAgain Sports is fantastic for getting the equipment you may need for after-school sports. We have gotten cleats, baseball bats, and mitts from PlayItAgain Sports. Again, we have traded in items that we are no longer using so that another family can benefit.

6. Uniforms

Where to get the best deal on school uniforms for those whose kiddos wear them? Some schools have a uniform exchange. Check into this. An exchange provides an opportunity to several families to swap out their outgrown uniforms with each other. Sometimes there is a nominal fee which is a lot less than having to buy new uniforms. The parents’ group may have something like this setup, it pays off to ask.

Often you can find uniforms are local thrift stores. So it is well worth it to check there as well. So stop by your local thrift store and see what they have to offer.

Several retail stores have uniforms on sale this time of year like Old Navy, and GAP has uniforms on sale. You can also check the outlet stores of both Old Navy and the GAP.

For extra savings, if your state has a tax-free day, then plan your shopping around that day. So, imagine the savings you will experience when you shop on a tax-free day with your coupons.

7. Wait on Trendy

The exciting thing about the retail sales cycle is that they are well ahead of the season for the clothing. So all those trendy clothes that are out now at full price will be marked down in price by the end of September and early October. Why? The reason is that retailers have to make way for winter season clothing, so the fall styles get slashed to sell out rapidly. So, the pause on trendy for a few weeks is well worth the savings.

These are seven back to school savings tips that should be helpful. If you found value in this blog post, SHARE it, and COMMENT below. Thank you.

Be strong. Be brave. Unleash your greatness!


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Charmaine Gregory

I am a nocturnist Emergency Physician, wife, mom to three vivacious cherubs as well as a greatness and virtual fitness coach. I help busy women like myself reclaim their fitness and wellness mojo and unleash their greatness! Watch my story and get a complimentary health assessment here: My Story If you are like me and have picky eaters in your fold, join my Facebook group, Picky Eaters Strong Mom here: Picky Eater Strong Mom Facebook Group

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