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How to Save Money on School Shopping

Updated on June 26, 2013

A little Humor Before Business

It has been quoted all along media that Mitt Romney says an adult shouldn't go to college until they can afford it. Hmm, but parents don't have the same option for the kids ages 5-18 and working parents just don't have time for home schooling, and home schooling can be costly. How does a parent survive 13 years of school?

Budgeting and Pinching Pennies

That is how a parent makes it through 13 years. There is also one important rule a parent must remember. NEVER TAKE YOUR CHILD SHOPPING WITH YOU. You will always end up spending more than planned.

  1. When the school list comes out for your child's school grab a copy for the next grade as well. This way you can plan out what is needed for two years on certain items and get it possibly cheap.
  2. Choose just a basic backpack. Backpacks can be expensive enough without having to buy a new one each year. Teach your child the importance of taking care of their backpack. If you can get 5 or more years out of it that is great. I still have a backpack that I bought while in high school.
  3. Buy only what the list states. If the list says your child only needs a 24 pack of crayons then that is what you get. If the bigger packs aren't on sale there is no need to get them. At the most buy two packs of 24, so if later on if your child needs another pack you already have it.
  4. Make sure at the end up each school year your child understands to bring home everything that they have left for school supplies. This is the time that teachers end up loading up their supplies. I remember at the end of a school year a teacher asked for supplies I didn't want. Yes the teachers do use them for the next school year, but why should you have to pay to buy more items that you may not need.
  5. I have found with rummage sales and what not it is a good place to find items. This might be where you want to look if you need a graphing calculator.

Every penny counts. You don't have to buy them the cheapest supplies, but be smart about what you buy. You goal is for all supplies to last one school year. It if you buy items like rulers, protractors, and so on the goal is for them to last 2 or more years.

School Supplies

Do you prefer to buy off brand or name brand school supplies?

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    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A Johnson 

      6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      Great ideas - I am a former teacher.

      If your U.S. state participates in the sales tax holiday each year (usually in August), this is a great time to save on school supplies. Also, dollar stores are a good resource.


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