How to Save Money on Back to School Supplies

Summer goes by way to fast!  Back to school supply season always sneaks up on us and I kind of hate it.  Sending my three kids back to school makes me a little sad as they keep growing, even though I tell them to stop!

I’m going to be completely honest with you….

Buying back to school supplies has always been a spending trigger for me.  I just love all of the fresh pencils, crayons, and new binders.  When I see all the great deals I just want to grab a few extra here and a few extra there….anyone else know what I’m talking about???

I have been working harder the past couple of years to not give into these temptations and stay within my back to school budget.  Here are a few of the things I have learned to help make it happen.

1.  Shop Your House First

This really needs to begin on the last day of school.  When your kids bring home backpacks full of old school supplies, make an effort to save as many of these supplies as possible.

Sort though everything and save as many of the folders, crayons, binders, pens, markers, etc. as you can.  Personally, I aim for reusing about 90% of my kids supplies.

I keep everything stored in a large box; and when the time comes to buy supplies for the upcoming year, we pull out this box and “go shopping.”

Try to find as much as we can at home, before going to the store.  We search through our school supply box, and dig through closets, desks and drawers.  Sometimes I will turn it into a game; a race to see who can find the most supplies on their classroom lists.

2.  Compare Prices

Look through multiple sales fliers to compare school supply prices.  Some items will be cheaper at the dollar store, but other items will be cheaper somewhere else.  It takes a little extra work and planning, but it will save you money!

3.  Use Coupons

Search for manufacture or in store coupons.  When you match these coupons with a sale, you will see huge discounts.

Coupons can be found:

  • Online using websites such as or
  • In Sunday newspaper inserts
  • In stores near the front door or on the shelves

4.  Take Advantage of Cashback

Always utilize cashback apps as you shop.

If you do any sort of online shopping, shop through the ebates website/app.  This is the easiest way to earn some extra cash!

When your shopping is done in store, scan your receipts into cashback apps.  My favorite is ibotta.  It’s quick and easy to use, and I almost always earn something!  (every penny counts!)

5.  Leave the Kids at Home

Taking a school aged kid down the aisles of school supplies is the equivalent of taking them to a candy store.  One glimpse of the fun, colorful, trendy (and very very expensive) supplies and they are convinced they “just have to have it!”

I have learned the hard way that I will spend less if I leave my kids at home.  If my kids don’t see the flashy items, they won’t even know they are missing anything!

Leave those sweet kids at home and buy what you can afford, without having to feel guilty saying “no.”

I am always needing to learn more!  How do you save money on back to school supplies???


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *