1. Parenting

Readers Respond: How Did You Get a School Supply Discount?

Responses: 9


Everyone loves a discount! School supply shopping is one of those times when discounts can easily be found if you know where to look. If you have some know-how on how to save money on back-to-school shopping, share it. Did you use coupons, shop early, shop late, buy in bulk? What's your strategy for discount school supply shopping?

Save on School Supplies

I stock up on items when they are on sale. Sometimes I buy double the amount. For example, my kids pencil boxes sometimes have to be replaced midyear or their crayons do. I rather have them on hand then pay full price later. They can always be used next yr.
—Guest MoneySavingEnthusiast

Save money on backpacks

Backpacks go on steep discounts after Labor Day, usually 50% off. Persuade your child (maybe with a $5 or $10 cash incentive) to reuse their old backpack for the first two weeks of school, then buy a new backpack on sale.

To motivate kids,share savings with them

I used to pay my kids for reusing supplies. Once school was over for the summer, we cleaned out backpacks, and put back in the items we could reuse: pencil boxes, rulers, notebooks (rip out the 5 pages they already wrote on), binder, glue, compass, index cards, markers, eraser, etc. They get $10 if they reuse their backpack, and $5 to $15 for reusing supplies. More $ if their supplies are in good condition and can be reused. We buy more pencils, erasers, and notebook paper, plus what they need for the next grade. If one child needs more expensive equipment for a particular class, for example, the newest scientific calculator, and passes on their old calculator (in good condition) to a sibling, then they get $10 for that. We promote this as good for the environment, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". We also use some of the savings to buy some pricier "cute" stuff, such as fancy locker organizers, as a reward. And I tell the kids that I can afford that cute item because I saved money.

What about last year's

We often think that it's a must to buy more and new for the kids' school. Yes, I come from long ago (1950's) and though we did get a lot new, we reused what could be reused. Duct tape on binder spines, removing the dozen used sheets from that spiral notebook (what teacher counts??). Pens give birth around my home, gather what you need from the overage. Notebook dividers can be decorated with scrapbooking or wrapping paper - start a new trend of creativity! A large freezer ziplock with holes taped on one side and holes punched in makes a really large great pencil/pen carrier for notebooks. I could go on for ever!!!! Think outside the "NEW" box. This works, kids may be unhappy at first but get them involved with ideas on reusing/ refurbishing their old stuff.
—Guest Janie

Team up with others...

...and buy in bulk. For example, Dollar Stores have websites and sell in bulk. (Dollar Tree just sent me eMail with sales.)
—Guest Carole


Its not really a 'deal' but it does work. You must buy school supplies on discount sales! For example one day I went on a sale and the normal price of a College ruled notebook was fifteen dollars it was selling for 3 dollars and I bought it. In school the teacher said that she must have wide ruled. So I had the receipt and I returned the item to the shop. Always keep your receipt and shop at clearance and discount sales, especially back to school and Fourth of July sales. Another tip: Buy from trusted brands that you can return the receipt. The zips last longer and are better they can be used longer. Cheaper ones may not always fulfill your needs and more often than not will not be in needed quality next year and following years after that. In our house we still use about 3 lovely floral backpacks since Preschool. Every one including me (of course!) loves discounts.
—Guest Phoebe

Online coupon codes and clearance sales

I shop through online coupon and deal sites. I've been able to dress my kids for much less and get their school supplies by finding items that are on sale and then adding a coupon code which reduces the price even more. I go to Brand Central Station Coupons and Deals http://www.brandcentralstationonline.com because the website is updated every day unlike some places that have a bunch of codes that aren't valid anymore. Hope this helps!
—Guest Jennifer

freebies at Staples

Last month Staples offered rebates on specific pens, mechanical pencils and highlighters. I purchased these and a backpack for my son. We will get the purchase price of the backpack back in credit to use at Staples.
—Guest Lisa

The Dollar Store!

I stock up at the dollar store. Yes, some of the stuff isn't very durable, but I buy the stuff kids use up or lose anyway, pencils, paper, notebooks, etc.
—Guest June

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