How Much Do Back To School Supplies Cost? The $15 Challenge!

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Back to school shopping doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg! I have had a lot of questions over the past week with people wondering what it should really cost to gather your school supplies for your children. So I took the challenge from Karen who has been watching the videos of all the great stuff we have bought over the last 3 weeks and wanted to know how much it cost me to put together a child’s school supply list. Now this is just all the stuff the school requested so far, papers, pens, pencils, crayons etc. I even tried to get a good deal on a lunchbox and backpack.

The challenge was to see if I could buy school supplies for under $15 and I was up for the challenge! Take a look at our video to see if I was able to grab school supplies for a 2nd grader and a 4th grader for $15 or less each.

Here are some tips to get you organized so you can follow along and get your supplies too:

Carry your child’s school supply list with you: If you carry a copy of the school supply list with you then you will be ready to snag a great deal and then you can mark it off your list. Many teachers ask for specific brands and I try to get what they want if I can get a good price on it.

Watch your Sunday ads for great buys: We saw great deals as early as the end of July this year. Check your Sunday ads every week to snag the best deals. If you start early you have plenty of time to get everything.

Shop at more than one store: Do not try to get all of your school supplies at one store. If you take your time and buy at different stores when you see a good price, you will come out ahead at the end.

Stock Up: If something is an amazing deal, like the $.01 deals, grab the maximum they let you buy. You know come January all the school supplies seem to have disappeared and your child’s teacher is sending notes for addtiional items.

Keep your receipts in your purse: This is always a good idea for price adjustments. Remember I told you a few weeks ago that many stores guarantee the lowest price for around 2 weeks after you purchase. If you see the item cheaper you can just pop in and get an adjustment on the price (most stores only allow for one price adjustment per item).

Use Coupons Maximize Savings: Yes, there are coupons for school supplies! Office supply stores usually have great coupons as well and many of them take competitor coupons. It is always a good idea to have your coupons with you.

Don’t Forget Rebates: Also, rebates are a MUST to scoring items for FREE. If you have been following our newsletters; you should have scored a free backpack or two, Purell, lunch boxes, tons of copy paper and on and on. Just make copies of everything you submit for your records.

ReUse: As the kids get older, I buy better quality items like a sturdy bookbag. If it’s still good the next year, we reuse it. Crayons and markers can always be reused, they usually go in a big community box in the classroom in the lower grades, so there is not need to have the box they came in.

Clearance: If you have last year’s backpack or lunch box and you can’t swing getting a new one right now, just wait and use what you have. I remember last year, backpacks and lunch boxes were on clearance at Target and Walmart within 3 weeks of school starting for 75% off. You can almost always grab one in a couple of weeks for less than $5!!

You Do Have Time: Don’t get stressed out or impatient! You can thank yourself later when you pay only $15 for everything instead of $100.

Yes, all these tips sound like a lot of work, but if you make a game out of scoring these great deals and have fun shopping, it will seem like no work at all. You will be so happy when you see how much you saved this year and don’t be shy either – leave it in the comments below because you know I love to see how great you did!

Back-to-School SavingsStaples Back-to-School

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”