- See what’s still useable from last year for this year.
I was able to take quite a few items off the supply list because we already had what we need leftover from last school year. You don’t need to send your kids with all brand-new supplies when you have good stuff already available at home.
- Shop and compare prices.
I compared Amazon.com (including free shipping for Prime members) to Walmart and Walmart was less expensive on almost everything, producing a significant savings. The items that were out of stock at WalMart, I’ll just order online.
- Remember, the school supply list is just a suggestion.
At least it is where my kids go to school. So if buying something on the list won’t work for you, don’t stress out. Substitute when necessary. Also, consider waiting to find out from your kid’s specific teacher what they want the kids to have, because sometimes that varies from the more generic supply list from the school that varies by grade level.
- Ask they kids what they really need.
Sometimes kids don’t need all the items listed, or they might even have a different preference. For example, my youngest son blasts through the eraser that comes on pencils. The supply list includes 2 large pink erasers, but the pencil top erasers make more sense for him.
- You don’t have to get it all at once.
You can wait until something runs out before buying more instead of buying a boatload at the beginning of the year. Similarly, my kids’ teachers are often overwhelmed by the massive amounts of Kleenex, Chlorox wipes, baby wipes and BandAids that come the first day of school—especially given the limited amount of storage space in the classroom. You can always send that stuff in later. Even better, occasionally throughout the year ask the teacher if there are any supplies they are running low on and send that in instead.
Do you have any other tips for saving money on back to school supplies. If so, please share them here.