How to Save on School Supplies?
July 28, 2011, Posted By Anne
Just about one month left before the kids will head back to school! For some parents it’s a relief while for others it can be a truly sad moment as their youngest one is starting school this year. This means that parents will need to start shopping for school supplies really soon.
This can quickly become an expensive activity, especially when you have a lot of kids at school at the same time. Being part of a family of 4 kids, I remember this time of the year being a bit crazy for my parents when I was younger. So let’s hope this tips article will help all Canadian families to save as much as they can while shopping for school supplies this year.
Recycle & Reuse
The first thing you need to do is to build up a complete list of what you already have. This means what’s left from the previous year and what can still be used. If your kid’s backpack still looks good, why buy a new one? It is really important to be savvy-minded here and not to fall into excessive consumption. I remember that I had to keep the backpack my parents bought me during my entire high school degree. I also remember being unhappy about this at the time, but today when I think about it I know that’s the right thing to do and that’s what I’ll do with my kids as well.
The same logic should apply to any other goods you need to get for your kids: pencils, notebooks, crayolas, etc. When it comes to sport gear and equipment, a good way to save money is to buy used gear whenever it’s possible. Start asking kids’ parents in the neighbourhood that have older kids who play the same sport(s) for example. There is a big chance that some gear won’t fit anymore. You could be really surprised by the amount of money you could save by simply buying second-hand sports equipment. And at the same time you might be able to sell some old sports gear that doesn’t fit your kids anymore. Because kids are growing so fast (or changing their minds about sports) it’s normally not really worth it to buy brand new gear that is going to fit for just one year. Some stores also specialize in second-hand sports gear.
When shopping for new items, always check the quality of the products. For example, even though some pencils are more expensive than others, it might be worth it to pay a bit more for one if it lasts longer instead of buying 5 cheap ones during the year because they always break. On the other hand if you know that your kid always loses a lot of stuff, then don’t bother paying for quality things as you know you will need to buy some more really quick. It could be a good idea to stock up on goods then as school supplies get more expensive during the year.
This section is for all parents with some artistic talents or with a good printer ;) We all know that kids always want to get the notebook with the latest popular cartoon character or Disney movie drawings on the top. But these are almost always more expensive than the other plain and boring ones. A good way to save a few bucks on those is to buy the plain ones but to paste images chosen by your kid that you’ve printed yourself. That’s where Google Images become useful. And I’m sure they will be less tempted to lose their notebooks if they like them.
Shop at Different Stores
That’s probably the most important thing when it comes to saving on school supplies. First you need to check regularly stores flyers to compare prices and get a good idea of what really is a cheap price for loose sheets for example. You could be surprised to find at your local pharmacy or at Canadian Tire cheaper notebooks than the ones at Walmart. Dollar stores can also be another good option when it comes to certain school supplies. And more important, stay posted with the latest fabulous back to school promotions by follow your favorite savings blog: vouchercodes.ca !
School supplies are always on sale just about one to two weeks after school has started. This means that savvy moms and dads might want to stock up on certain items that are needed every year: loose sheets, binders, notebooks, pencils, etc. Normally stores have fantastic promotions on this kind of goods, so if you have the space to stockpile you might want to buy as many as you’re the promotion allow you to. No need to go crazy neither as when unused items end up in the trash, it kind of ruins all the savings you’ve made.
All these tips could seem a bit time consuming but they are not. My goal is to present you all these tips so that you know there are quick ways and habits to take that might help you to save on your school supplies purchases this year!
Let us know what you think about this article! And what are your savings tips?