The time of year has come for bargain hunting on school supplies. Your kid needs to be well equipped to take on their classroom with confidence, and you might already have one store in mind for all your shopping.
But just because a store offers some killer deals on certain items, that doesn’t mean they’re perfect for everything. By picking and choosing the best spots for the best school essentials, you can save the most money and get the best products.
First Things First
- Check the list of last year’s supplies.
Before you ever step foot into a store, make sure your bank is going to maintain a reasonable balance by setting up a firm budget. Rather than guessing the right number and possibly being wrong, look back over what you ordered last year and the total cost. This will give you a chance to not only set a desired budget, but also to evaluate how many of last year’s supplies your child actually needed. Were all of the supplies actually necessary? What can be eliminated this year?
- Let the kids call some of the shots.
Of course your kids are going to want the latest and the greatest, but your bank can’t always handle this. To keep the fights and disappointment at bay while also teaching some valuable lessons, show your child your exact budget. Once they see how much money is actually available, they can make the calls themselves on whether the top-of-the-line shoes are worth missing out on for a special backpack.
The Store Lineup
Walmart is famous for having everything and being everywhere. On top of the savings you might receive on the supplies themselves, Walmart could be the best choice for you due to more than back-to-school coupons. This store offers deals such as Cash Back when a certain dollar amount has been spent, meaning if you’re also there to buy this week’s groceries or a new bedspread, buying a few extra school supplies could equal money in the bank. Based on prices alone, however, Walmart is perfect for store-brand pencils; Crayola markers, pencils, and crayons; glue; erasers; and tape, with each supply pricing at as low as 45 cents and as high as $2, even for the name-brand products.
When it comes to back-to-school clothing, Target is the most durable and fashionable choice. There’s no point in buying those jeans if they’ll be fraying in only a few weeks, so shopping at Target can give you the high-quality fabric to not only survive one school year, but even last into several. With a wider range of name brands and styles, you can give your kid the perfect wardrobe for a confident entrance into the classroom. More essential clothes like gym shorts and training clothes can be bought with Cash Back thanks to coupons from Ebates, and if your kid has their heart set on that superhero backpack, they also offer 10% off those signature designs. When it comes to price alone, Target pulls ahead of the competition with the lowest prices on whiteboard markers, disinfectant wipes, notebooks, and sharpies.
- Office Depot
Whether it’s for crafts, school science projects, or essays, sometimes your kids still need to turn the digital into physical – but printers can be a pricey venture, especially when you’re already shelling out for so many school supplies. Office Depot is the best option for saving the most money in this department, with as much as $150 off select printers. Cash Back also applies to supplies such as pencils and pens, so if you intend on dropping a little more cash here than elsewhere, throw in those items as well for the most savings.
Staples is classically known for the more traditional school supplies like pens and paper, but for maximum savings, you can find those items at other stores while instead taking advantage of Staples’ broad range of technology. If your teen’s laptop took a nasty fall or simply can’t bear the processing load the new school year requires, then you can pick up a shiny new desktop or laptop with a coupon from Ebates earning you up to $130 off. That device and all their normal school supplies have to go somewhere, so while you’re picking up a few odds and ends, you can cash in on 25% off your entire order if you also buy a backpack.