Did you know that the average family plans to spend $634.78 on school supplies this year? While that’s down a bit from last year, it’s still a huge number; almost comparable to averages of holiday spending. This year, instead of breaking the bank over college ruled paper and calculators, we’ve compiled some great tips you can use to help limit the amount you spend on school supplies this year.
Shop at Home
Before you head out to the stores, take a minute to inventory what you already have lying around the house. If you bought more durable supplies last year, like plastic folders instead of the easy-to-rip cardboard ones, you should be able to reuse a lot. One fun idea is to send your kids on a scavenger hunt with the item list, and whoever finds the most wins a prize! That way, they do all the hunting for you.
Shop with a Budget
Don’t leave the house without a set limit of what you plan to spend on all your goods. Whether that’s an intangible number you’ve decided on from the checking account, or you take out the money in cash, go in knowing what you can and can’t spend on supplies this year. Not only will you go in better prepared, but it’s a good opportunity to have the “wants vs. needs” talk with your kids.
Shop at One Store
Many stores, like Staples and Office Depot will price match if you can prove a competitors rates are better. Do your research ahead of time and go in with circled ads that you can show at one of these stores. The great thing about it is that you’ll get all your supplies, all the best deals and you don’t have to waste money driving all across town.
While some supplies get more expensive as students get older (like graphing calculators) you can also consider buying those used or swapping supplies with friends and family. Heading into school supply shopping with a clear plan of attack can keep you from blowing your budget on paper and pencils you already have!
How do you save on school shopping? Let us know in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll also like: "Fun Learning: Cool Online Financial Tools for Kids"