7 More Ways to Save Money on School Supplies

by Jamie Simmerman · 4 comments

As August draws to a close, many children are cringing at the thought of returning to school. Many parents cringe right along with them at the pressing need for new shoes, school clothes, and all those school supplies. But going back to school doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little thought and planning, you can save money every year on back to school supplies. Here’s how.

Save Money on Back to School Supplies

1. Plan ahead. At the end of every school year, I pack up a bag for each child containing items from that year that can be reused. Intact crayons go in a metal pencil case, scissors that are still intact are kept, and all mechanical pencils with their pieces and parts intact are replaced with fresh lead and stored for next year. This gives my kids a starter pack for the next August.

2. Shop late. If you time it right, you can pick up great deals on school supplies once the shopping rush is over. Last year I bought each child a brand name backpack with padded straps and a computer compartment for $5 each at Pac Sun. Those same backpacks would have cost $85 two months earlier. Send your starter packs to school in August, then add to them a month or so later with additional supplies.

3. Shop at unconventional stores. Some of my favorite places to look for school supplies are local pharmacies. Even our local Rite Aid has great deals later in the year that allow me to pick up small prizes for class treats like fun erasers, stickers, and notebooks. (I put together treat bags of supplies for holidays instead of giving out candy.) Our small-town pharmacy had Crayola crayons for $0.30 a box, and 12-packs of American-made pencils for a quarter last week!

4. Re-purpose backpacks and binders. Letting your kids put their mark on old backpacks and binders is a great way to save money. There are tons of fun and crafty ideas available on the Internet too, if you dare to search for them.

5. Make use of cast-offs. Old broken crayons make great classroom gifts when crumbled up and melted into fun-shaped candy molds in the oven. Scraps of paper can be cut and stapled into small notebooks for doodling or writing notes to friends. Brown paper grocery bags are a favorite for making book covers that can be decorated by each child. Even the Sunday comics can be cut to fit over a three-ring binder or textbook.

6. Shop smart. I have two boys who are very different from each other. One takes care of his supplies, but uses them till they’re ragged. The other is more likely to lose a pair scissors than to wear them out. I buy supplies according to each child’s habits. My saver gets a nice set of quality colored pencils and a heavy-duty pair of scissors, while my little monster gets an economy pack of five for just about everything with the promise that if he takes care of his supplies, he can upgrade later.

7. Have you kids help out with the cost of school supplies. Now, I’m not saying you should squeeze your kids for every penny in their piggy banks, but having your child pay for a portion of his supplies (you decide how much is appropriate) keeps him invested in how he cares for those supplies. He’ll be more conscious about loaning out all his pens or karate chopping his pencils for fun if he has to pay for a few of them.

David’s Note: Haha I might upset some parents by admitting this but karate chopping pencils really sound like fun! Share your favorite way to save on back to school supplies.

Editor's Note: Did you know about the service called $5 meal plans? For $5 a month, they send you recipes of delicious, healthy, yet cheap food that costs just $5 a meal.

Several of my friends signed up and they are able to eat at home more because the instructions are easy to follow, making everything convenient. The deal also comes with grocery shopping lists, which saves them so much time. Check it out yourself by clicking here and you too may be able to save more and become healthier at the same time.

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current AT&T DSL and U-VERSE promotion codes and promos and see if you can save more money every month from now on.

{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Shane says:

    Great tips, we always hit up the dollar store from the basics and tried to get as many of the supplies as possible.

  • solomongilda says:

    Make money just using the Google. You choose working hours. You can make above $500/day working for this billion dollar company. For more info visit makecash25.cøm

  • Marbella says:

    You can find many things in second hand shops at very low prices.

  • Persepone says:

    If your child has a problem in school with other kids who swipe stuff, consider buying pencils with the child’s name on them! My daughter was always the youngest/smallest in class and when her teacher told me she did not have pencils when she should have, pencils with her name solved the problem by showing the teacher that about 1/3 of the class had “her” pencils…. An engraver works on things like scissors….

Leave a Comment