I know, I know. The dog days of summer are almost over! Did June fly by and July seem like just a blip on the calender to anyone else?
While I don’t have any kids of school age yet, I do have the wonderful privilege of being the oldest of 7 kiddos. I am 15 years older than my youngest sister, who turns 15 this week. Meaning, she is still in high school.
My feeble attempt to make-up to my mom for my horrid teenage years is to lend a hand with my siblings. For the last 4 years, I buy all the school supplies for my siblings. Bam. Debt paid, right?
While many school PTA’s now offer you a handy dandy box of school supplies that magically show up on your child’s desk on the first day of school, I am here to tell you that it can be done for cheaper. Much cheaper. In fact, I can usually find all the school supplies my siblings needs for around $40. A person.
I make no promises that you can find everything you need for that cheap, but I do have some tips on how you can find the cheapest school supplies for your kiddo, so that instead of sobbing in a closet on their first day of school over your empty wallet and the fact that your baby is growing up, you’ll only be crying about your baby growing up.
Compile all your kids school supplies lists into one big excel spreadsheet. That way you won’t be shuffling through 3 pieces of paper in the middle of the store, but rather you’ll check just your handy dandy one sheet.
Check the paper every Sunday.
In my opinion, this is the easiest and best way to get all the coupons and deals you need. Crazy couponing people may disagree with me, but I’m not looking to stock pile food for the next 20 years. I just want cheap school supplies. If you are too cheap to buy the paper, then some stores have their weekly circulars at the door when you walk in or online.
Don’t ONLY shop at Big Box Stores.
As surprising as it is, your best bet on most school supplies won’t be at Target or Walmart. Gasp, I know. Your local CVS and Walgreens seriously have almost everything you need, at much cheaper prices! I think their master plan is to get you in the door with cheap school supplies and then have you pick up other items that are priced slightly higher than average, so everything evens out. But resist the margarita’s in an adult pouch, they aren’t worth it (for real, they aren’t worth it. I spit it out and I love me some margarita’s!). You will have to clip the coupons and hand them over at the register to get the deals at CVS and Walgreens, but the low price is worth the small hassle.
Be prepared for a few weeks of school supplies shopping.
CVS and Walgreens will have various items on sale every week. Usually I can get everything I need for school supplies after 3 weekly visits. I go on Sunday nights because their shelves tend to be well stocked and sale items haven’t run out. I usually spent 20 minutes in there each week.
Ask for rain checks.
They can be a pain and take about 5 minutes to get an employee to verify that the item you want is out of stock, but they are totally worth it. I bought mechanical pencils 3 years ago this August and am still going strong. Why? Because I got a rain check on an out of stock item and paid .10 cents per pack of 10 mechanical pencils and I bought 10 packs.
That’s it! Easy peasy, right? It may seem overwhelming at first but power on, pour a glass of wine and bask in the goodness that you are saving your family money. I personally think every penny I save on school supplies is another penny towards a Kate Spade bag I’ve had my eye on for a few months. My husband disagrees. But I digress.
Check back every week to see what deals you can find on school supplies! And chime in on how much you saved each week!
Week of Sunday, July 27
This is a surprisingly poor week for good deals. You will get some school supplies, but not many. Stay strong, though, the good deals will return!
- Avery or Caliber binders start at 3.99. As a general rule of thumb, I don’t buy a binder for over $5. You can find them on sale. (One exception is the 4′ binder. Those are just dang expensive and never go on sale).
- Crayola Crayons and Colored Pencils, 24 pack. Crayola is hard to know their sales and prices, but this is a goodish deal. I have bought the off brand crayons and colored pencils, they just don’t hold up!
- Wexford 1 subject notebook, 60 or 70 sheets, .49 cents with coupon and card. Limit 3. Most of the time, cashiers don’t mind if I do 2 transactions as long as I have 2 coupons (grab an extra circular when you walk in).
- Wexford highlighter, .49 cents with coupon and card. Limit 3 per item.
- Wexford sticky notes (50pk) or page markers, wooden ruler, 6 for $1 with coupon and card. Limit 6. Note on this one, the sticky notes are not what is pictured but they are still on sale and that is a dang good price!
- Wexford school glue and no. 2 pencils, .39 cents with coupon and card. Limit 3. This is a steal for pencils. You might notice that Target also has pencils on sale this week in a bigger pack, but if you check the unit price this is much cheaper (.04 cents per pencil!)
- Wexford 1, 3, and 5 subject notebook, buy 1 get 1 free. No coupon necessary
- 1in Wexford binders, $1.99.
- Wexford filler paper and composition books, .79 cents each. This is an okay deal on filler paper. I have seen it for .10 cents per pack before but that only happens once a season usually.
- There are also various Papermate items on sale for .99 cents per item that don’t require coupons, which is a pretty good deal.
Note there is a $5 minimum purchase. So if you come up short, just buy some candy at the front. That’s what I do at least, it’s a good reward! Don’t be tempted to grab other school supplies you see that aren’t on sale; again they are trying to get you in the door with low prices and then have you buy other items at higher prices.
- Office Depot 6in protractor, .25 cents each
- Office Depot and Wescott 5in scissors, .25 cents each
- Office Depot brand folders, .01 cents each
- Scholastic and Office Max glue, .25 cents each
- various Office Depot brand binders, $4 each
Alright, those are your deals for the week! Chime in and let me know if you found any other good deals this week or if I missed something! Make sure you check back next week for more school supplies deals!