Six Ways to Save Lots of Money on a Back-to-School Shopping Spree

Parents buying school supplies

When it comes to back-to-school shopping, you've probably noticed that prices have increased. But you can still save money on supplies by being savvy about where to shop and what you buy. Here are six ways to do so:

Shop Off-Season

In the off-season, you can save money on back-to-school shopping. The start of the school year is a time for retailers to raise prices and make up for lost sales from summer vacations and holidays. By shopping at the beginning of the year or after Labor Day, you'll be able to get great deals on everything from clothing accessories to laptops!

The following are examples of when it's best not to shop:

  • If your kids are starting kindergarten and they're going into 1st grade next year (or even if they're still in preschool), there will probably be little need for supplies like binders or pencils until later in the year when they'll need them more urgently. You might as well wait until after Thanksgiving before buying anything explicitly related to their first day at school—you'll find better deals then because most stores won't have ordered supplies yet, either!
  • If your child doesn't attend public school but instead attends private schools within their parish system (like Catholic ones), then don't bother looking too hard during this period either because those institutions tend not to buy much outside their own classrooms anyway, so why waste money unnecessarily?

Be a Savvy Shopper

  • Shop for school supplies in the off-season.
  • Buy the best quality you can afford, but don't go too crazy on price. You want to make sure that your child is learning and enjoying their time in class, so if they have to take home old pencils or pens instead of new ones each day (or week), it might be better for them to do without some of their favorite items than pay extra for something that won't benefit them as much.
  • Buy in bulk when possible – especially if items like backpacks or lunch boxes need to last several years! Even if this means buying some things online at a discount rate, it's still cheaper overall than buying one item per student each month; plus, shipping costs will eat away at any savings anyway if not careful planning ahead before placing orders online through sites like Amazon Prime (which offers free two-day shipping).

Ask Your Friends

Ask your friends and family if they have any unused supplies that you can use. Don't forget to ask them to donate their old ones! If you have friends who are also returning to school, try asking them if they know of other places where you can get free school supplies.

Use the Library

  • Check the library's website.
  • Find out what your local library offers by visiting their website and searching for "library."
  • Check out before you buy!

Consider Buying Local

Buying local is a great way to save money and help your community. It's easy to think that buying from a big box store means you're supporting the economy, but in reality, it goes back to where your goods were made or grown. If those products weren't produced locally in your area, then they won't have been made by people who live here—thus, no jobs would be created!

Buying local also makes sense because it keeps money within the community where it was earned instead of being sent overseas. And since many small businesses are owned by individuals who live in our communities (or at least nearby), this can mean more jobs for people who need them most: middle-class families with children at home during the school year and unemployed adults looking for work during the summer months when kids are out of school.

Being Careful Where You Shop and Buy

You can save money while getting school supplies by being careful where you shop and buy.

  • Buy in bulk: It's cheaper to buy several items at once than to get each item individually. For example, if your child needs 12 pens for the year, buying them separately would cost more than if you bought two packs (24 pens) instead of six packs (72 pens).
  • Use coupons: There are usually coupons for many items sold at big box stores like Costco or Walmart. If there's one specific thing that needs special attention from teachers—like a brand new backpack—it may be worth using a coupon on that item so as not to miss out on any savings!
  • Look for sales: Stores often offer special deals during the back-to-school season because they know parents are looking for ways to save money while their kids get ready for class. If there's an upcoming holiday such as Christmas instead of Thanksgiving this year, these same stores might have even better deals since people will be buying gifts too! Remember though: sometimes deals don't last long enough before they expire, so keep checking back regularly until something comes up again!


It's important to remember that back-to-school shopping is more than just a chance to buy school supplies. It's also an opportunity to make sure your child has the best possible education, which can be done without breaking the bank. Remember that these tips are just suggestions for saving money on back-to-school shopping.


Overwhelmed by creditor calls and a stuffed inbox? Clay Advisors is here to help.

Eliminate multiple bills and payouts with one easy monthly payment — at almost half of what you are currently outlaying. Paying bills can be a low stress event when interest rates are reasonable. Clay Advisors is here to help.