It’s that time of year again and with the kids going back to school, it’s also time for parents to open up their wallets for your back to school supplies list.

If you’re like most parents, you’re looking for some great deals to help you save even more on those things your kids just have to have this year.

I spoke about this topic on my Savings Segment on Fox. Watch the replay video here:



Putting a little pre-thought into your back to school shopping can help save you loads of money in the long run on your Back to School supplies list.

Spending more time thinking about what you will need for the future year, and getting those things now will help you save on school supplies all year long.

So I’ve got a few important tips on how to save the most money on back to school items:

Back To School Supplies List
Plan For The Whole Year, Right NOW

Back to school sales usually happen during the latter half of July, the entire month of August and the first week of September.

That means you’ll get some crazy good deals on most office supply items, but don’t be swayed by the marketing ploys of buying things “just because they are on sale”.

For example, computers are not the best deal right before back to school. You can score a better deal during the Black Friday craziness.

Focus your time to saving on school supplies only.


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If you can hone in on the best deals right now, then you can stock up and you won’t get stuck unnecessarily paying more later.

I mean you can stock up on Index Cards that normally cost $2 for only 50¢ during this season… the rest of the year, you’ll pay $2.

Why overpay later just because of poor planning? Buy 4 of them and spend $2 and then if you don’t need them, you’ll be stocked up for the following year too!

This is why it is important to make a simple back to school supplies list. And it’s smart to think ahead and you’ll be saving on school supplies too!

back to school supplies list

Compare Prices

Comparing prices across stores is the key to knowing whether or not you are getting a good deal. This is one easy tip to saving on school supplies.

The downside is that this might mean making multiple shopping trips to various stores. One store might have cheaper pencils/pens/utensils, while another may have a great deal on backpacks.

But when you really come down to it, most of the time it’s just pennies difference. Pick one to go to each week, that way you are still getting the stuff on your back to school supplies list, but you are not wasting gas or your time.

back to school supplies list

Do The Quick Math

I was an accountant before I was a Mom, and that means in order to properly compare products, I like to break things down to the lowest possible unit.

Here’s how to save on school supplies.

For example, if you’re purchasing a pack of items, such as crayons or pencils, it’s important to consider the number of items that you’re getting.

While a pack of 12 pens for $1.50 might seem cheaper than a pack of 60 for $4, you’ll find that after doing the math the pack of 12 is actually nearly TWICE as expensive. ($4 for 60 pens is 7¢ each vs $1.50 for 12 pens is 13¢ each).

Simply use a calculator when you’re in the store and want to know which package is the better deal.

It’s the best way to get the best prices on all your back to school supplies list needs!

back to school supplies list

Don’t Underestimate The Dollar Store

Dollar stores generally offer discounted notebooks, poster board, pencils, plus even good scrapbooking and teacher supplies!

You might want to consider checking out these stores before going elsewhere for your back to school supplies list needs.

You’ll be saving on school supplies like lunch bags, insulated cups and double-sided tape (that is one thing that never goes on sale anywhere at any time!).

Check out this list of 8 Dollar Store Back-To-School items you don’t want to buy anywhere else!

back to school supplies list

Stick To Your List Of Essentials

Now listen, I’m the first one to LOVE shopping for office supplies and I can easily get carried away by donut erasers and adorable floral printed binder clips.

But if you want to save money… you’ve got to stick to your back to school supplies list.

Make a simple school supplies list of the things know you need. Then carry it out with the most diligence you can muster.

One way I know how to save on school supplies is to not overspend!


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Yes, I realize it is no fun to not look in all the little bins of fun shaped erasers and sparkly notebooks.

And I’m not a total spoil-sport, so I think you should allow yourself to get one (and only one) splurge item, just for the sake of feeling good about things.

But when that necessity list of 10 things turns to 25 items and $200 later… well, you are just gonna feel bad for it once you get home.

So trust me and dig deep and don’t give in to every whim and stick to that back to a simple school supplies list. You can thank yourself later!

You can do this. I believe in you. {And it won’t hurt to say a little prayer for me too.}

back to school supplies list

Don’t Forget The Coupons

C’mon, you didn’t think I would forget to tell you about using coupons did you?!!

Coupons are a free money! And they will help you get FREE (or nearly FREE) school supplies also.

Coupons can be used at virtually every place that sells office supplies; Walmart, Target, Office Depot/Office Max, Staples, Walgreens and CVS (as well as your grocery store).

I’ve got a whole coupon database full of over 5,000 coupons right here!

You can look up your favorite brands of school supplies, clip out the coupon and bring it with you to the store when you are shopping for your back to school supplies list.

Remember, to maximize your savings, you will want to combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons and combine them with items that are already on sale.

back to school supplies list

Use Price Matching To Your Advantage

This is one of my big tips when you buy a backpack.

If you’re at the store and suddenly realize that you’ve forgotten about a better deal somewhere, see if the store offers price matching.

Think about the expensive items you might regret missing out on a better deal, such as that graphing calculator or 4-pack of printer ink.

Both Target and Walmart offer price matching, simply show your cashier the competitor ad, or just bring it up on your smartphone.

Remember, there are limitations such as ensuring it’s the same brand, size, and quality.

This is one way to make sure you are getting the very best deal on all your back to school supplies list needs.

back to school supplies list

Be A Super Smarty & Save Immediately

This is one of the easiest ways to save before you even start shopping. AND it’ll help you stay on budget with your back to school supplies list.

Use a discounted gift card! All you do is decide how much you are going to beforehand, then go to Cardpool or  Cardcash and pick out a gift card where you’re planning to shop.

Going to JCPenney for clothes? Save 10% right off the bat by purchasing a discounted gift card and then using that when you pay!

They are delivered so quickly when you choose the “eGift Card” that you can have them in less than an hour and use it right from your phone at the cash register.

If kinda feels like you are cheating because I would bet everyone else in the establishment is not getting a discount on the money they are using to pay. SCORE!

back to school supplies list

Use A Cashback Credit Card

While I don’t suggest using your credit card if you truly don’t have money and you are hoping you will later… this is more of a strategy to look at the credit cards you have and see if they offer any kind of extra cashback reward that you can use when you go to buy back to school supplies or back to school clothes.

We have a Discover Card and when I just logged in to my account I found that they are currently offering a 5% Reward when we use the card at Restaurants… 5% of FREE MONEY just for using that card (we have it set up to automatically make the full balance payment each month).

Don’t pass up that extra saving on your back to school supplies list unless you’ll be tempted to overspend. Then that 5% savings won’t be worth it.

If your simple school supplies list turns into a 10 page book, then it would be worth the extra savings to use your credit card for the extra rewards.

Putting some thought into your shopping strategy can help ensure that your back to school supplies list fits into your budget and continues to save you money throughout the rest of the year.

Your back to school shopping list can truly break the bank if you don’t keep it under control!

It seems like every year the kids need more and more to get through the school year.

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to save bundles of money on your simple school supplies list.


YOUR TURN: What is your favorite School Supply item to stock up on? I start to feel panic if we don’t have enough packs of mechanical pencils in the house. Let me know what is your favorite in the comments below! 

How To Save The Most Money On Your Back To School Supplies List