Inexpensive school supplies are available from stores with obvious names: Dollar General throughout much of the United States and the 99 Cents Only Store in California and the southwest while WalMart and Target remain retail favorites.
Walgreens has competitive prices on school supplies like notebooks while well-stocked thrift stores may have the furniture or dishes a college student needs.
JC Penny’s often has terrific sales on clothing. Keep an eye on Penny’s as one season ends and another begins.
Most stores have both a physical presence and an online presence to purchase school supplies. I suggest going first to the stores below before visiting either Office Depot or Office Max for notebooks, pens, or notecards.
There are over 8,900 Dollar General stores around the country. The store provides online coupons through Dollargeneral.com, a featured ad, and savings via email. Clothes, food, and traditional supplies like notebooks and writing instruments.
99 Cents Only Store
Get a 99 cent calculator, cork board, and backpacks. While the stores vary in size, the 99 Cents Only Store carries basic writing supplies, notebooks, tape, glue, in addition to food, soda pop, and plenty of snacks. There are also dishes that are great for freshmen entering the dorms or returning upper classmen. Locks and food storage containers are other school accessories available . . . for 99 cents. Log on to 99only.com to download ads for California, Arizona, Nevada, and Texas.
I’ve been impressed with the quality notebooks I’ve been able to buy at Walgreens for prices as low as 79 cents while the same notebook might sell in Office Depot for $ 1.99. Walgreens will carry t-shirts and some stores may also have backpacks.
WalMart and Target
The retail giants have done well stocking a variety of items including electronics. For supplies like postcards or notecards, I have found that Target has better prices than Office Max.
Penny’s in Southern California consistently has excellent sales on clothing. Sales may sneak up on weekends when one season is ending and another is beginning, but the prices are worth watching and waiting for. Log on to jcpstoreads.com for the current ads.
Salvation Army thrift stores
This is a tough one since many students may not want their friends to know that mom and dad found great bargains at a thrift store. Salvation Army thrift stores are often well-stocked. In Pasadena, California, the Salvation Army thrift store often has a good supply of furniture available for dorm rooms or frat houses. Enter your zip code in the website, salvationarmyusa.org, to find the closest stores.