After the holidays, back-to-school shopping is the second-largest spending season of the year. The average household spends nearly $688 annually on school supplies, new clothing, and electronics like laptops and calculators, according to the National Retail Federation. With school supply lists getting longer and costs rising, more and more parents are searching for quality items at a reasonable price. With this in mind, we’ve outlined four of our favorite money saving tips for the back-to-school shopping season.
1. Do Your Research
Walking into a brick-and-mortar store may encourage you to buy items that aren’t on your list. Why not save time (and money) and hit the web? Nearly 40 percent of parents will turn to the Internet for back-to-school shopping in 2018, the National Retail Federation predicts. The reasons vary, but two stand out – for one, online retailers specializing in back-to-school products typically negotiate lower prices than traditional retailers. Secondly, purchasing school supplies online enables you to ship your order directly to your door, saving you a trip to the store (or multiple stores). Beyond internet research, ask other parents where they buy school supplies and where they’ve seen the best deals.
2. Buy in Bulk
Back-to-school basics such as paper, pens, folders and pencils are available in large quantities at lower prices. Stocking up on these fundamentals will allow you to supply your student(s) throughout the year. We recommend purchasing bulk school supplies online so the larger boxes can be delivered to you. Our exclusive Big Box™ line of school supplies is a great bulk option, with quantities ranging from 150 units to 500 units per box. Plus, if you have leftover supplies at the end of the year, consider donating them to your student’s school or teacher.
3. Buy Now, Save Later
The back-to school rush typically begins in late July, giving parents a limited amount of time to purchase mandatory school supplies. This short period is often chaotic and stressful, and the last-minute rushing can cause families to exceed their budgets. Consider shopping throughout the year for items that can be used year-round, like pencils, notebooks and even crayons, as many retailers choose to have school-supply promotions during the off-peak season.
4. Shared Classroom Supplies
Classroom supplies are a newer addition to many school supply lists, and a growing number of teachers now request for incoming students to bring shareable items such as tissues, cleaning supplies and washable markers. Rather than increasing your household spend, team up with other parents and invest together. Several of these products can be purchased in large case packs known as “classpacks.” Get your student’s class quality products without breaking the bank.
We hope these tips help you save more this back-to-school season. As a reminder, if you have a surplus of back-to-school items, including backpacks, consider donating them to your local teachers or schools.