If you’re new to couponing – you may not know that right around this time each year you can stock up on free or cheap school supplies like crayons, markers, backpacks and lots more! Drugstores, office supply stores – and even Toys R Us and grocery stores begin having really great sales on these items to lure shoppers in (hoping they’ll go ahead and buy many more things while in the store). It’s a tactic that works to our advantage – since we’re always keeping tabs on the deals. Here’s how to make sure you can stock up before the specials disappear until next year:
1) Watch the Back-to-School Sales:
We’ll be hosting School Supply Roundups here on TIme2Save starting this week. In fact, we already have this week’s Office Supply store deals featuring several FREE items! Just check our Back-to-School tab each week to keep track of these deals.
2) Shop Early – Shop Often:
Don’t expect to get the best deals by making one trip right before school starts. You’ll end up getting a couple decent deals – but paying reg. price for other items on your list. To get the best prices and selection on school supplies, start your shopping early and pick up a few items each week as they go on sale for the lowest prices. Gather items throughout the summer so that you have a box full of nearly free supplies, and only a couple last-minute things to pick up.
3) Hit Yard Sales, Thrift Stores and Consignment Sales for uniforms:
Check your local paper – savvy sellers will list uniforms if they have them, and if you hit the jackpot, you could bring home an entire slightly-used uniform in your child’s size for around $.50- $1 per item! Check out our post on Yard-Sale Shopping Tips HERE. The Goddwill or other thrift stores also have great deals on uniforms. Since kids usually don’t play too hard in these, they’re often in decent shape still. There are also local consignment sales that set up around this time for those looking to buy/sell uniforms. Check the paper for these as well!
4) Take Advantage of Tax-Free Holidays:
This can save you a lot if you have a high sales tax – so check the Tax-Free Shopping Day List HERE to see when your state is hosting a holiday! Plus – by using a cashback site such as Ebates or ShopAtHome.com, you can get a percentage of your purchase in cashback, making any day as good as a tax-free shopping day
5) Check for online sales on uniforms and use coupon codes:
Even normally pricey clothing stores like P.S. by Aeropostale will run sales around now for $7 polo shirts and such – just sign up for their newsletters to get coupon codes in your inbox and deal alerts. For example – here’s a $10 off $50 coupon to use in Aeropostale stores!
6) Buy for NEXT Year during Clearance Time:
Once the school shopping rush is over, many stores will slowly begin to clearance out their extra school supplies (Like drugstores who have limited shelf-space). Use this opportunity to pick up items for NEXT year and you’ll have part of the job done in advance, and likely at 75% OFF!
And as always – if you come across a school supplies deal like crayons or markers that could make a difference for a child in need – we encourage you to buy a couple extra to donate to a local ministry or to save for Operation Christmas Child boxes. So many kids head to school each year without means to buy the supplies they need. Your $.25 here or there can really make a difference to someone else!