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How to Save Money on School Supplies

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Back to school time can be as expensive as Christmas shopping these days! There are the backpacks, the laptops, the fancy calculators, and then there are all the paper, pens, highlighters, and other things that you can never have enough of. So, if you find yourself wondering how to save on all your back to school supplies, it’s not surprising at all. And, with nine kids, trust me, I feel your pain when it comes to all the back to school supplies you need!

With nine kids who I homeschool, I feel like an office supply store year round!

Looking to have less stress this back to school season? Be sure to grab our back to school checklist that details everything you need for a smooth transition (& most people forget several of these things). Just tell us where to send your checklist!



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With limited finances, unless you’re luckier than I am, it’s a matter of knowing how to save money on the things you need.

And lucky for you, I can tell you what I know.

This is how to save money on the school supplies this back to school season.

saving money back to school

(this post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you)

Take an inventory of what school supplies you already have

There is nothing worse than stocking up on things you thought you were out of only to discover that you already have more than you actually need. Make sure you check with your kids to make sure you’re including their stash into your list.

Check out the school supplies deals on deal websites

Deal sites like Hip2Save.com start posting back to school deals every week starting in mid-July. Check these out every week. In most cases, many of the supplies that you need will be featured at awesome prices at least once during the back to school shopping frenzy.

back to school organization

Create and shop with a detailed list of the school supplies you need

Now that you know what you need, you can start your shopping, but you are more likely to have a financially successful trip if you have a detailed list. When you know what you’re looking for, you get the right thing. Then, you don’t pick up anything extra along the way.

Make sure you print off this back to school checklist so you don’t miss anything!

Take advantage of free with rebate back to school deals at various stores

Many of the deals you find on the deal sites will be free with rebate sales. While you are putting the money out for these things initially, you will get it back later on. Sometimes saving money means having patience, but these deals are an awesome way to get what you need for super cheap or even free.

Learn about how each rebate program works and when your rebates will expire

Each store’s programs work a bit differently with their rebate programs. For this reason, learn about how each rebate program works. Sometimes your rebates are emailed or sent to you automatically, and sometimes you need to actually apply for your rebates.

back to school checklist printable

I find it is often easiest just to ask right at the store. The employees are usually more than happy to explain just what you need to do. And then, you can ask questions right then and there.

Be organized with your rebates and savings so they don’t expire

Once you know how the rebates work, you need to make sure you actually use them. They all expire at one point or another, so you need to have an organized way to keep these expiration dates and certificates or reward cards straight.

I find it works best to keep the actual rewards certificates right in my purse in a coupon sorter. But, I also write the expiration dates right in my planner so I don’t forget to use them.

There is nothing worse than realizing you’ve let rebates expire. It’s the same as throwing your money away.

back school ideas

Be smart & stick to your school supplies list & budget

Make sure that the money you spend on school supplies you actually have to spend on school supplies. It is especially easy to get carried away on all the free stuff you can grab and spend more than you can actually afford in your budget.

This is especially true with rebates when you are spending the money initially.

Make sure you’re only spending money you have to spend and that the things you’re buying are things you really need.

Don’t have a budget? Join my free 5-Day Budget Bootcamp by entering your email below. I’ll help you to create one step-by-step each day.

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back to school savings

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