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Tips to Save Money on Back to School Supplies

Updated on July 24, 2014

Cheap School Supplies

Looking for back to school deals? How about budget school supplies? You've come to the right place.

Here are some some of the best back to school shopping tips to help you save money and get great school supplies for your kids. Being a mom, I know how expensive this can be, so I hope my tips will help you.

School image by User OHWiki and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

Shopping for School Supplies

Although you can find school shopping lists at stores or online, you really can't know for sure what is needed until you see the teacher's list. Why buy something that isn't needed?

Sure, there are some basic supplies such as pencils, glue sticks, crayons, etc., but it's best to wait to see what the individual teachers request. I suggest this because I have gone out and purchased supplies for school that were not needed.

Before you start shopping, check what you have at home. You may already have some of the items requested.

Image by alvimann at morgueFile.

School Supplies for Children

Do you have any dollar type stores nearby? They have tons of cheap school supplies. I recently shopped there and bought 1" binders, packages of pens, staplers, basic calculators and more with each item only being $1.00

If you're near a Walmart, check out their supplies. If you shop there right before school, you'll find amazing savings. Some of my recent purchases include a 24 Crayola Crayon box for 50 cents, Glue Sticks for 10 cents, Crayola Colored Pencils for 97 cents as well as Crayola Markers for the same price. There are even more great deals.

Image courtesy of WPClipart.

School Poll

How many kids do you need to shop for?

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Cheap School Backpacks

If you don't mind used, consider shopping at thrift stores for a backpack. This would greatly reduce the cost. You might also opt to check out local garage sales. However, this does not guarantee you'll find one and could end up costing you time and money.

Often, there are great deals to be found online. This can save you the time of driving around to look for backpacks, not to mention the cost of gas or bus fair.

Image courtesy of WPClipart.

Cheap Backpacks for Girls

My Little Pony Friends Let's Fly A Kite Backpack
My Little Pony Friends Let's Fly A Kite Backpack

Check the current Amazon price. At the moment, the price for this backpack is $13.99. Not bad for such a cute backpack.

 
Disney Minnie Backpack (Pink)
Disney Minnie Backpack (Pink)

This adorable backpack measures 16" tall and has a special section for storing school supplies. Great for girls who love Disney.

 
Trailmaker Classic 17" Black Pink Purple Striped Plaid Back to School Backpack Pattern with Pencil Case
Trailmaker Classic 17" Black Pink Purple Striped Plaid Back to School Backpack Pattern with Pencil Case

What I love about this backpack is that it has so many compartments. It has a place for every school supply a girl needs.

 
17 inch Turquoise Plaid Butterfly Student Bookbag Backpack
17 inch Turquoise Plaid Butterfly Student Bookbag Backpack

Not only does this have lots of compartments, it also has adjustable shoulder straps so girls of all ages can use it.

 

Cheap Backpacks for Boys

Nintendo Super Mario Bros. Wii Large School Backpack Bag - Full Size Backpack
Nintendo Super Mario Bros. Wii Large School Backpack Bag - Full Size Backpack

Well made and sturdy with a big front pocket. Great for Mario fans.

 
The Amazing Spiderman Spider-man 16" Backpack and Lunch Box Kit Tote Combo
The Amazing Spiderman Spider-man 16" Backpack and Lunch Box Kit Tote Combo

Get the newest Spiderman backpack. This is a great vale as it also comes with a detachable lunch box.

 
Marvel Avengers Large Boys Backpack (Hulk, Superman, Thor, Ironman) 16 Inch
Marvel Avengers Large Boys Backpack (Hulk, Superman, Thor, Ironman) 16 Inch

This is made from durable polyester and comes with two roomy side compartments.

 
Scooby Doo 12.5in Child Backpack- Mr. Machine Scooby Doo Backpack
Scooby Doo 12.5in Child Backpack- Mr. Machine Scooby Doo Backpack

Looking for a preschool backpack? This smaller backpack is perfect for kids who love Scooby Doo.

 
Spongebob Squarepants Boys Large Blue School Backpack.
Spongebob Squarepants Boys Large Blue School Backpack.

This large backpack has two mesh pockets on each side of the backpack. Great price for a character backpack.

 

Cheap Backpack Tip

Once the back to school rush is over, many stores greatly discount the backpacks they have. This is a great time to buy a backpack for next year.

What are your tips for cheap back to school shopping?

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    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @TransplantedSoul: Here, they usually want everything right away.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @othellos: There's so much more stuff for kids these days.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 4 years ago

      I like to wait a few weeks to find out what theytruly NEED.

    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      What a wonderful resource. Thank you for sharing such a comprehensive guide! Excellent tips. My school years didn't have all these stuff. My kids though live in another world as far as school supplies is concerned...

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @lesliesinclair: You have some great ideas here.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Garage sales, thrift stores, and neighborhood exchanges are all good ideas for getting utilitarian backpacks, but I also like the idea to get a very good pack as a way to take the focus off getting lots of frivolous stylish things. Always carrying a substantial backpack gives one the security of knowing they always have a dependable place to puttheir things.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      Think twice, buy once.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      I work in a school and sometimes give school supplies to some of the kids who need them. I buy things at the office supply stores just before school starts. I often get some really good deals, and I don't mind sharing things with my students. This lens certainly has my blessing!

    • Felicitas profile image

      Felicitas 4 years ago

      A lot of the ones you have listed look pretty cute. And, not costly at all.

    • profile image

      ERD1966 4 years ago

      Nice lens. My wife does the back to school shopping. She is good at finding the sales!

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 4 years ago

      Wait till they get into college and you have to pay $180 for a math textbook. I must be in the wrong business.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 5 years ago

      Good tips :) To be honest, i went to school even with torn school bag because i knew i should not go to school with a new bag, my family was in financial problem. I am glad i finished my study life good way. In my whole study life i bought only not more than 6 school bags.

    • frugalfinance lm profile image

      frugalfinance lm 5 years ago

      This is a great lens, always looking for ways to make the school shopping cheaper. It just seems to cost more and more every year! Will try some of these tips next time I need supplies for sure!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Gypzeerose: That's a great idea.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      I like shopping at garage sales - the kids are harder to convince. Maybe if you get them a great back pack they won't have to have everything else new.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @sherioz: Good luck with your shopping.

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      You have some good ideas here, but I think I'd prefer to buy "inexpensive" rather than "cheap".

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I find they really come in handy when traveling with kids.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I wouldn't mind having some of these backpacks myself. I really like the cammo print. :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @TwistedWiseman: Hope you get the chance soon. :-)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Camden1: Sounds like you have quite a system.

    • TwistedWiseman profile image

      TwistedWiseman 5 years ago

      Once I have the chance to raise kids I might be able to answer this question.

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      I take the school supply lists and use the prices from the Sunday newspaper ads to find the best price on each item. I then mark directly on the list where to buy the item. I usually have to go to several stores anyway, so this way I know I'm getting a good price.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @getmoreinfo: They can be quite costly, especially if you have a few kids.

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Stock up on supplies any time you find them dirt cheap. After back to school time is over & the stores need to make room for Christmas stock, watch for the clearance sales. Buy ahead with things you know you are going to use: Pens, pencils, notebooks, filler paper, folders.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Frischy: Excellent advice.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      School supplies can really add up so it is good to have some budget tips.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: Great idea!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Keep an eye out all summer at yard sales for notebooks, backpacks, school clothing to get items for as much as 90% off.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @WildFacesGallery: Thanks for your feedback.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 5 years ago from Iowa

      Always nice to try to save a few dollar where ever possible. Thanks.