9 Ways to Save Money on School Supplies

It's that time of year again - school shopping. Whether your kids are homeschooled, go to public school or anything in between, you need school supplies, and it can cost a pretty penny. You have to be smart and find ways to save money on school supplies. 

Right now, I have three school-aged kids that we homeschool, and you can bet that basic school supplies cost money. I'm not talking just about the curriculum! Notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, rulers, and so many other items add up in cost each year. 

So, are you ready to learn some simple ways to save money on school supplies? If so, keep reading! 

9 Ways to Save Money on School Supplies 

1. Check Your House First 

First, check around your house to see what you have available to you already. You might have more school supplies in your house than you think. Look in closets, desk drawers, and any bins that might have school supplies. 

2. Buy in Bulk for Multiple Kids

If you have multiple kids who all need similar items, it pays to buy in bulk. For example, you can get a pack of 30 glue sticks online for $9. That's $.30 per glue stick, but they're sold for $1 for 2 in stores. 

Ticonderoga pencils are the best pencils, and they often are sold for around $5 for a pack of 12. However, online sells them for $12 for 45. 

Buying in bulk is often the best route for saving with more than one child who needs school supplies. 

3. Watch the Sales

Always watch the sales! By the end of July, crayons can be as low as $.50 per box of 24 crayons. Throughout the year, that same box is $1.24. It pays to stock up on them during the sales as well. Hide your stash so your kids won't waste them at home. 

4. Start Early

Starting early is always smart as well. Don't wait until the last week of August to purchase what you need. Not only will the stores be sold out of a lot of what you need, but the prices also change. You'll get the best prices earlier. 

5. Compare Store Prices

Next, always compare your local store prices. Look at their weekly ads, and head to each store to see their prices for unadvertised items. A few cents of a difference doesn't seem like a big deal, but it does add up when you're buying dozens of items for your children. 

6. Shop on Sales Tax Holidays

Some states offer sales tax holidays for families. It's usually a weekend when sales taxes aren't applied to school supplies. Depending on your state, that can save you a good percentage of your costs.

Once again, pennies add up into dollars, so combine these tactics by comparing store prices a day before the sales tax holiday. Know what store has the best prices of each item - even if you have to make two stops - and shop on the sales tax holiday. 

7. Go to the Dollar Tree 

The Dollar Tree is a great source for your school supplies, and homeschool parents know that the Dollar Tree rocks. Go to the Dollar Tree for items that don't need to be brand specific, like tissues. 

8. Buy Quality Items

Don't just buy the low-quality items because they're cheaper. Your pencils will break down and wear out easier. Cheap crayons look terrible, and low-quality backpacks break faster. 

Invest in quality items. A good backpack can last two years if you spend a bit more money instead of buying two or three low-quality ones each year. 

9. Label Everything! 

Last, make sure you label everything that you send to the school with your child. It might take time to write your child's name on everything, but it will reduce how many items are misplaced with other students in the classroom. The fewer items you have to replace, the more money you save. 


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