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School Supply Shopping Strategy

12 Jul

Crayons (1)I can’t believe that in just over a month, school starts again. That means the school supplies are on the store displays! Last year I developed a strategy for shopping wisely for all my son’s needs without paying a fortune. Here is what I did and am doing again this year:

The List:

I retype or rewrite my son’s school supply list into one list with the total of each item I needed. Our school’s list is broken up by Judaic and General Studies, so that you bring separate supplies for each classroom. However, when I am at the store, I need the total amount of each item (4 erasers versus 2 erasers for General Studies and 2 for Judaics).

The Plan:

To start, I go to my overflow box from the basement and pull out any supplies I had gotten on sale last year (and didn’t get used) that my son needs for the coming year. I then put any supplies that coincide with my son’s current list in a bag or box (items will be labeled later when I have everything).

Then, each week I check the sale fliers from Target and OfficeMax. I identify which items seem like a really good deal. These are the items for less than $1 or with large discounts. Even if an item is not on my son’s list, I may still add it to my shopping list because he may need it another year or we may need it at home or for my own classroom.

The Trip:

I then go to those stores EARLY in the week and buy only those items. I do not get suckered into buying other items, even if my son needs them, if they were not on my list for that week.

The Unloading:

When I get home, I mark off any items that I was able to get from my son’s list. Those items get put in my “For This Year” bag or box, as I mentioned before. The others go into my overflow box.

Repeat:

I do this each week until the last week before school starts. Then I take stock of what I have purchased and still need to get. Those last items become my final shopping list. I do still take advantage of those last few sales at the end of August and early September and those items also go into my overflow box.

Last fall I even got four backpacks for less than $7 each from Land’s End (on clearance) to have on hand for the coming year if my kids need them!

So far this year I have gotten 5 composition notebooks ($.25 each), 1 box of 12 fine point sharpies ($1), 1 pack of 5 thin dry erase markers ($1), two 1” binders ($1 each) and 10 folders (free) from OfficeMax= all for less than $5!

For weekly shopping lists and tips, check out “Kosher on a Budget.” She features the school supply sales at Walgreens, CVS, Target, OfficeMax, Office Depot, and Staples.

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3 Comments

Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Family ideas, Other savings tips

 

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3 responses to “School Supply Shopping Strategy

  1. Shelley

    July 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I wanted to add to your list. This is a great strategy that I’ve have learned over the years too. I wanted to give you advise with all the running around to the different stores each week; you can now take those sales fliers to Target and they will price match it. Since Target is only a block away not only do I save time but I save a lot of gas too. Checking your favorite store to see if they price is a big money saver. I also know that Wal-mart matches sale prices and Fred Meyer on some things. I hope this helps!!!

     
    • rmk104

      July 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      I have never done price-matching at Target. I was not even aware of it. Will they only match things in a flier? What about if you just know from your price list an item’s price but it is not listed in that week’s flier? I have kept my errands to a minimum in that I am only doing Target and OfficeMax for my school supply shopping. There may be a few deals at some other places, but I have had good luck with those and am saving a bundle!

       

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