Getting back to school can be hard not only for the children and the teachers who have to put up with those children, but also for their parents. You might be thinking that I’m wrong and this makes no sense. You may be saying to yourself that parents can’t wait for school to start just so they can have some more free time. It’s not hard for them, they are happy, right? Yes, you are correct. They are happy at first, but then, at one point, every parent realizes the cold truth – shopping for school supplies costs a lot of money. The time of happiness is gone and the era of bankruptcy is beginning.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to get crazy every year at the same time because you think that you will have to spend your monthly paycheck on the school supplies. If you decide to put in some extra energy and spend some additional time on applying the right strategies, you may spend even less than half of what you were expecting to spend.
The first thing that you have to do is gather all the stuff from last year. Everything that you can find: rulers, pencils, erasers, notebooks. Put everything in one place and assess the situation. Many of these things have probably never been used, so you need to check what is still usable, what’s working and what can be thrown away. This way you will finds lots of stuff that your children can use for another year, but you will also have a better picture of what else needs to be bought or borrowed from your neighbors. If you don’t get along with your neighbors, you can borrow from supplies from anyone who is willing to give them to you…if that kind of people still exists.
The previous step implies that one rule has to be enforced – don’t be afraid to say no to your children. You shouldn’t care if they don’t like their last year’s notebook, or that the pencil box isn’t cute. Cuteness is not a criterion here. Cute school supplies don’t get supremacy over the practical, efficient and cheap school supplies. Remember, you need to save as much cash as possible.
Next step is making a list of everything that your kids truly need. Making a list will prevent you from wasting your time on checking infinite number of times if you bought something or not. Also, a list will help you buy only stuff that you, or should I say your kids, actually need. If the teacher or the school doesn’t provide you with something similar to the list, check the school’s website or ask in the store. They work there. which means they should be experienced and know exactly what you need. Maybe they can even point out the school supply on discount, you never know.
After your list is done, you should start covering all the stores that sell school supplies. Okay, I don’t expect you to visit all the stores, especially if you live in a big city, but try going to as much stores as possible. Look at the prices of the things you need and write them down. Once you have collected a bunch of different prices, for bunch of different supplies and from a bunch of different stores, you can start comparing them. Look for the lowest numbers, look for the places where you have coupons for and look for the special offers and sales. Every loophole you can find is a loophole that will save you some money. Don’t be afraid to use them all.
Often the best way to attract customers is to promote loss leaders – retailers will practically give away the school supply. You should be on the lookout for these opportunities and cash in on every single one you get. Another way of saving money is to buy out of season. Every single item sold on this planet is cheaper when it’s not the time for the use of that item. For example, if you buy a winter jacket in the early spring, you will pay far less than if you buy the same jacket in the late fall. The same goes for the school supply. Buy it when you won’t need it, so you won’t have to spend double the amount when you actually need it. And I literally do mean double the amount, because discount school supplies can save you up to 40% of your cash.