The end of summer signals back to school shopping and with schools enduring financial hardships too, parents may have to supply more when it comes to school supplies. Buying school supplies in bulk can be a monetary and time-saving choice for the school year.
Buying bulk supplies can help lower that per item price of the supplies you need especially if your buying for more than one school age child. Children not only need supplies at the start of school but many times they have to replenish items throughout the year. Keeping a supply on hand helps eliminate those last minute trips to the store once the busy school year starts and when the items are usually not on sale. Some basic supplies should be kept at home, as well, for homework and school projects. Therefore, some items on those school lists are automatically doubled.
Know Where to Shop
All the big retail stores like Walmart, Meijer, and Target, office supply stores like Staples, Office Max, and Office Depot and warehouse stores like Sam’s and Costco will be offering incentives to get you to their store and are great places to buy in bulk. Shop their ads online or in your local newspaper. Know who has the best deals. Look for coupons on the items you need. Some stores accept competitor coupons too. Adding these coupons to the sale price means even greater savings and a definite opportunity for stocking up. I bought Crayola crayons at Walmart for $.15 each. I was able to stock up for the year and even donate to children in my area whose families could not afford to pay for school supplies.
Know How Much to Buy
Set a budget and make a list of the items you need. Remember, buying bulk is supposed to save you money so buy items you truly will need or use. Expendable items like paper, pencils, erasers, markers and glue are definitely items to keep a good supply of. (Having 10 rulers or calculators may not be the best investment even though the price might be great.) If an item you need is not on sale or buying more does not give you a better per item price, then maybe this is not the right item to stock up on or you may want to wait till it goes on sale at a later time. Many stores lure you in by offering deals but mark up other items that they know you will always need. I went to an office supply store because they were offering deals on folders but the notebook paper was double that of other stores. Buy carefully and stick to your list!
Know Your Goals for Bulk Shopping
School supply shopping can be a costly expense. The goal of bulk buying is long term savings on the items you most often use. Therefore, the one-stop shopping concept does not always work for bulk buyers. It is crucial to do your homework. It is probably not worth going to multiple stores if you are only purchasing one item and the difference in savings is $.50. But, if you are bulk buying, that $.50 multiplied a number of times begins to add up. Knowing exactly what you will purchase at each store by researching the prices ahead of time and making a list will bring about a tremendous savings in the long run. Plus, you are shopping more efficiently, so you will probably spend less time in the store than you would otherwise.
Another great way to bulk shop for school supplies is shopping on the internet. There is no running around, the prices are in front of you and many stores offer deals online, free shipping and promo codes for additional savings. This can be the best of both worlds for bulk school supply shopping.
Given that school supplies are items that will be needed over a number of years, and generally, it is the same items needed, bulk buying equals buying smart!