Every year near the end of July, the shelves in the stores start filling up with school supplies. It’s that time of year again. Have you gotten the school supply list for your child and wondered how you were going to pay for all of that? Well, looking at my lists, I put my plan into action on how to save money for this. I have a list for a 4th grader and a Kindergartner. The list for Kindergarten is a little interesting because most of it isn’t even typical school supplies. It contains things like paper plates, sandwich bags, white T shirts and Styrofoam bowls. Well, that isn’t in the school supply section of any store that I know. So here’s what I found for great prices on all the items we needed.
I don’t care how many people like or dislike this store, I love it! No matter what, I can walk in here and find a great deal. There is a slight catch to the Walmarts of the world however. There is one in my town and then there is another one about 5 miles away in another town. There are deals at my store that I tell my friend about and she goes to the other store and the prices are higher. It never fails. My mom tells me the same thing about her Walmart. So, needless to say, I think I have the best Walmart in the area for prices. However, I still think that most Walmarts will have cheap prices on these back to school supplies.
Boxes of crayons- 24 count is 25 cents
Glue sticks- jumbo size is $2.50 for a pack of 3
Folders- 10 cents for the basic style
Notebooks- 1 subject notebook is 15 cents
Filler paper- 75 cents for a pack
I mentioned my son needed T shirts. They were asking for 3 shirts. I found at Walmart a pack of 5 for $5.25 on special. Now, you can also use this great price to stock up on undershirts and underwear for the new school year.
The nice thing about Walmart is that if you have an ad for a cheaper price at another store and show them, they will honor it. So basically you can stop there and get everything for the cheapest price without having to go to another store.
My daughter needed Wide Ruled notebooks for 4th grade. Here is where we come to Walmarts downfall. All of the 15 cent notebooks that I found there were College Rule. They had multiple subject notebooks that were Wide Rule but that wasn’t necessary for her. So I decided to travel down the road to the next store, Target. Here is what I found at Target.
Wide Ruled notebooks- 20 cents (just a little pricier than Walmart but they had them so the few cents extra was worth it)
Other items were similar in price to Walmart.
One other thing we found at Target that we liked were the backpacks. With my daughter being in 4th grade now, she said that it isn’t “cool” to wear a famous person face on your backpack. So she found a cute and colorful backpack with flowers and a front on it. I think she liked it because it came with a stuffed frog on a key chain. You could also get a matching lunch box to go with it and between the two of them, the cost was around $25. These were not on sale, however, but they did have several other cute styles that are on sale maybe 15 or 20% off.
3. Online specials
If you don’t want to hit the rush in the stores, you can always shop for supplies online. The only downfall here may be shipping costs. Would it benefit you to pay the extra for shipping or use the gas to go to the store? That is up to you. There are several options for shopping online for school supplies. Some office supply stores, like Office Depot and Staples have websites you can visit. They are usually more expensive than Walmart and Target whether shopping online or in the store. However, each week, you may be able to find an advertised special that is cheaper than other stores. Another option is auction websites like EBay. They will sell “lots” of supplies for a certain cost. This may save money and it may not depending on if the “lot” has all the items you need in it. If there is only one or two items you need out of the 30 in the lot, you probably should pass it up.
Sometimes, you may get a bargain on shipping or even free shipping. It all depends on how much time you want to spend looking for the best deals online. Start with a search of “back to school supplies” and see what comes up. There may also be some great specials on uniforms if those are required.
One final note regarding items that are not typical school items, such as the plates and bowls, etc. I sometimes get coupons for these types of things plus I usually stock up on them when they are on sale. They might be cheaper and your local grocery store and might not be. Use coupons, shop around, and if you already have a small supply, send those to school until you can find them on sale again.
Basically, to find the best deal, you first want to look through your weekly ads from the paper and determine which stores may have any special deals. If you want to shop in the store, bring the ad with you and you may find better deals in the store for other items as well. Depending on your specific attitude towards this, I would say you can either buy something and take it back later if you find a cheaper deal elsewhere or you don’t buy it and don’t find a cheaper deal elsewhere and have to go back to the first store. I am always nervous about not buying something when I see it, just in case the next store doesn’t have it and then I have to go back to the first store again. That’s up to you. Ads found in newspapers and online are your best sources of information on how to gather the greatest deals when shopping for back to school supplies on a budget.