This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for information.
Are you overwhelmed with how expensive back to school shopping can be? Here are the best 10 ways to save money on back to school shopping.
I am so excited to be collaborating with some very wonderful ladies on a series of posts to help you get ready for this busy back to school season. Together we have created incredibly helpful articles on how to save money on back to school shopping, back to school meal planning ideas, back to school organization ideas, back to school free printables, and so much more!
I have linked to all of the other posts in this back to school series at the end of this post, so hang around until the end of this post so you can get the whole list of helpful back to school resources to help you make this back to school season as easy and stress free as possible.
With the back to school season quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to start scavenging the web for the best back to school deals around – because we all know how quickly back to school shopping can get expensive.
Once this time of the year rolls around it seems like there is just one thing after the other that is demanding your money, from back to school shopping, to big Thanksgiving dinners, to gearing up for Christmas shopping, they can all start to suck your money out of your pockets faster than you realize.
Many people see the high prices of back to school items and just shrug it off, assuming that that’s just how much they are going to have to spend to gear their kids up with everything they need to go back to school, but there are a couple of little-known things you can do to actually save money on back to school shopping.
If you’re looking for ways to save money on back to school shopping, keep reading.
10 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING
1. SHOP SMART
When you go back to school shopping, the first thing you should know is that just because some stores boast that they have the greatest sales around, doesn’t always mean it’s true.
Since many people participate in back to school shopping, and it always seems to sneak up on us out of nowhere and we didn’t have time to prepare for it, stores can charge whatever they want to for their back to school products.
This also means that they can jack the prices up, then offer a sale, claiming that it’s a “HUGE SALE!” that you don’t want to miss out on. When in reality, the sale price could actually end up being more expensive than, or equal to, the regular price at other times of the year.
Always keep this in mind when you’re back to school shopping so you can shop smarter. Don’t fall for all the sales out there, first, do your research so you actually know what a good sale price is. The easiest way to do this is point number two –
2. CREATE A PRICE BOOK
Create a price book of all the back to school supplies you regularly buy, then write down all the different prices of the products at all your local stores so you can see which ones have the best prices.
This will also allow you to see if a certain store’s “sale price” is truly a good deal or not. If you’ve ever thought about creating a price book before, chances are you found out the most common way to use a price book is for keeping track of grocery prices. While that is the most common use for a price book, it doesn’t have to be the only use for it.
You can easily create a price book for anything that you buy, including all your back to school shopping.
3. SHOP AT THE RIGHT TIME OF THE YEAR
I’m sure by now you’ve figured out that doing your back to school shopping right before back to school hits isn’t the greatest time to try and find good prices. Chances are, if you do your back to school shopping in July and August, you won’t get the best prices. These short few months before school is back in are the few months that retailers are able to jack up their prices on back to school stuff because everyone needs their supplies before school starts.
So if not now, when is the best time to buy back to school supplies? The answer is: after Labor Day.
In September, after Labor Day, school is back in and stores want to clear out all of their left over back to school stock to create room for the upcoming holiday stock, and that is when you will find the best prices on all back to school supplies.
Many people need their back to school supplies before they are back in school, so they can’t wait until after Labor day to buy their supplies, but if you can wait until then, you will get the best prices.
To ensure you get the best back to school prices for next year, buy all next years back to school supplies this year. Once those post-Labor day sales start, stock up on everything back to school that you will need next year, to cut costs drastically!
4. FIGHT THE TEMPTATION TO BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE
This one is hard. If your child sees their friend with the latest and greatest gadget or lunch box, it won’t be long before they come running to you asking for one of their own. Assure your kid that they don’t need to be like everyone else, and just because their friends have something doesn’t mean that they need it too.
Instead, take them with you on your post-school supply shopping and let them pick out a few cool school items for next year’s school supplies.
5. ONLY BUY WHAT IS NEEDED
Only buy the back to school supplies that are needed, don’t go buying this and that just because it’s on sale. No matter how good of a sale it is, if your kid doesn’t need it for back to school, you’re wasting money more than you are saving money.
The easiest way to ensure that you don’t go overboard and buy all the things when you go back to school shopping for your kids is to create a list before you even step foot into the door of the store. In fact, create your list before you even look at any store fliers.
Write down everything that your child will need for back to school, then look in the fliers and use your price book to find the stores with the best prices on all the items that you need.
Make note of all the stores you will be going to for your shopping trip, and don’t go to any other stores – that just adds temptation to buy unneeded things.
Once you have bought everything on your list, don’t fall into the temptation to browse the rest of the store or you might end up with several items that weren’t needed.
6. OPT FOR NO-NAME
Rather than only buying name-brand school items and supplies, search the store-brand and no-name brand items to see if they have the same item for a cheaper price. Chances are, they will, and you will be able to save a lot of money by doing this.
Make this an opportunity to teach your kids the importance of money, and show them that you can get something that is just as good of quality for much less, then allow them to see how much money you are saving by buying no-name rather than name-brand, and either save that money or let them get themselves a small treat with the money saved.
7. DON’T BE AFRAID OF THRIFT STORES
When shopping for back to school things like clothing, don’t be afraid of thrift stores. Some people avoid thrift stores and second-hand stores like the plague, but I just don’t get it.
There certainly are a number of second-hand stores that are dirty and you are probably better off not shopping at, but there are so, so many other ones that are clean and offer nice, quality clothes at a fraction of the cost.
If you’re willing to go to a couple local thrift stores, you will likely be able to get your child a whole new wardrobe, with good quality and name-brand clothes, at less than the cost of a couple pairs of jeans from the retail store.
8. USE COUPONS
Don’t be afraid to use a couple coupons when you’re back to school shopping. The easiest way to find coupons is to get onto a store’s mailing list. Stores will often send out special discounts and coupons to those on their mailing list. You can also search for coupon sites on the web, or look in local fliers and newspapers to find coupons.
Read the small print on the coupons carefully, some coupons may even allow you to stack them with other coupons to get an ultimate low price – and some may even apply to clearance and sale priced items.
9. SEARCH YOUR HOUSE BEFORE YOU GO SHOPPING
Before you even make a back to school shopping list, search through your house for any back to school supplies you may already have lying around. That could be anything from supplies that you have bought over the year because they were on sale, to extra supplies from last year’s shopping trip.
You might even be able to cut this year’s back to school shopping trip in half by doing a quick search through your house for supplies you already have.
10. SHOP ONLINE
Another thing that allows you to easily save money on back to school shopping is shopping online. Though Walmart might have a great deal on binders, Amazon might have a better deal on binders. Don’t just shop at one store if you’re trying to save money on back to school shopping. Shop around instead.
If you do some of your back to school shopping online, save even more money by shopping through Ebates. When you shop through Ebates you earn cash back and they also often offer exclusive discount codes and deals that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
So you may be able to find a cheaper price simply by shopping online, then an even cheaper price by using the discount codes Ebates offers, AND also earn money back just because you shopped through Ebates. It’s as simple as that! (Plus you get a $10 bonus when signing up through my link!)
When you don’t limit yourself to one store and aren’t afraid to shop around a bit, you will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of money that you can save.
Don’t let back to school shopping rob you of any more money than you absolutely need to spend, instead, use these 10 ways to save money on back to school shopping to help you rest assured that you are getting the best price possible, and even coming out of the back to school season with money to spare.
What are your favorite ways to save money on back to school shopping? Feel free to share all your tips on how you save money on back to school shopping below!
7 Ways to Prepare For Back to School + Free Printable Back to School Checklist
10 Ways to Never Pay Full Price For Anything Again
5 (MORE) Frugal Lifestyle Changes to Make To Save Money
How to Create a Budget That Saves You Money
10 Unnecessary Expenses You’re Wasting Your Money On
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12