How to Save on School Supplies

With summer right around the corner, it might seem like a bad time to talk about school supplies. After all, isn’t the start of the next semester more than four months away? Yet given the tendency for many people to wait until the last minute to buy supplies, it doesn’t hurt to have an ultra-head’s up. What’s more, you might stand to save some money by taking care of next year’s supplies before this school year comes to an end.

School Supplies

Here are some effective ways to save on school supplies starting now:

Early shopping

Regular readers are well aware of the benefits of early shopping for school supplies, but newcomers might be making the mistake of waiting until the week or so before the first day of class. It’s no secret stores are likely to mark-up pencils, paper, folders, and other supplies starting after the Fourth of July. They will present the prices as deals but chances are these same products will be priced much cheaper any other time of the year. While you don’t have to go out and stock up right away, there’s no reason not to if you find a great deal. You’re buying these things sooner or later, it’s just a question of how much you’ll pay.


School supplies tend to go missing without an adequate explanation provided by your kids, a phenomenon which leads to spending more money on replacements. Cut down on the cost of buying replacement notebooks and other frequently lost items by putting printed name labels for school on your child’s supplies. While they might not always keep items from going missing in the first place, they increase the chances of lost school supplies being returned.

Thrift stores

Most people picture used clothes and dated dishware when they think of thrift stores, but the truth is these places have much more to offer shoppers. It’s not uncommon to find brand new products still in their original packaging but marked down significantly less than what they were originally sold for in retail stores. This includes notebooks, folders, pencils, and other items needed for school.

Discount stores

Chain stores specializing in selling new items at a discount are also great places to look for school supplies. While writing utensils found at these stores are often substandard, products such as notebooks, staples, paperclips, and rubber bands tend to be universal in terms of quality. The result can be significant savings over time for these and similar school supplies.

Buy in bulk

Paper, paperclips, pencils, staples, and many other popular school supplies don’t have expiration dates. While ink pens and whiteout might go bad after a few years, most supplies can be stored for an indefinite amount of time before being used without a drop in quality. This means it might be a good idea to buy certain school supplies in bulk. A one-time purchase of one dozen reams of 500-count college ruled loose leaf could last your kids for the next three years and cost a quarter of the amount you’d spend on smaller amounts of paper bought over the course of that same amount of time.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways for parents to save on school supplies throughout the year. Just because it’s about to be summer doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of these and other ways to pay less for the essentials for education.

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