Back to School Shopping – Saving Money and Deals

Have you seen the photo of Marian’s Back to School Supply Store?  Each year I purchase school supplies and pay anywhere from 1-25 cents for the majority of the items I purchase.

This is how I do it.

1) Each week from July 1 – September 15,  I check the Sunday (and online) circulars for Back to School specials. I note on each circular: the end date for the sale; what items I want from that store; any free items with purchase; maximum number of items I can purchase; any coupons.

2) I keep all of the circulars in a folder and the folder with me when I shop.

3) Shop my route.  For example on Mondays my route takes me past a Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Target, and Office Depot.  10 minutes in and out at each location. Another route takes me past an Office Max and Office Depot.

4) Take the kids.  Most stores have a maximum number of items that you can purchase.  Split the order between you and each child, give them cash and let them pay for a purchase.

5) Only shop the deals.

What Can You Expect in the Way of Discounts?

Office Depot has rulers, vinyl storage pouches and single subject spiral notebooks for 1 cents each.

Frys Electronics has 150 sheets notebook filler paper for 25 cents, Mead Composition Books for 25 cents.

Walgreen has backpacks and lunch boxes BOGO free; Expo Dry Erase Marker sets $1.99, Papermate Highlighters 6 pack for 49 cents.

What Other Deals & Discounts Available

JC Pennys is offering free haircuts through the month of August for K-6.

Office Max, Old Navy and Payless Shoes have coupon promotions.  Check your receipt for coupons for discounts at other retailers.

Links for stores with promotions

Click on the link to go to their site.  Look for a link on this week’s circular.

Office Depot * Office Max * Walgreens * Rite Aid * Frys * Target * WalMart

Other Ways to Stretch Your Dollar

1) Ask for price matching.

2) Ask for a Rain Check if an item is out of stock.

3) Ask if there are any “”Free with Purchase”” items.

4) Buy supplies for the entire year.  Composition Books are normally priced 99 cents – $1.50 each.  Buy extras now at 25 cents.  If you don’t need them, donate them to a school or charity.

5) Buy on Saturday, ask for a receipt adjustment later in the week.  Be aware of quantity limits.

A special note to teachers/administrators: Check at the store for your quantity limits.  For example, Office Depot allows teachers to purchase 35 of an item.  So this week, teachers could purchase 35 spiral notebooks, 35 rulers and 35 vinyl pouches for a grand total of $1.05 plus tax!

Notes for Savings on School Uniforms

Gap, Old Navy, JP Penny and Sears are offering discounts for uniform items.  A few tips.

1) If you are shopping in the store and don’t find the size you need, purchase a different size of the same item and exchange it at a later date.

2) Be bold – ask for a rain check if you don’t find what you need.

3) When shopping online, buy the size you think you need and a size up.  Return what you don’t need.

And as always, check store return policies and keep your receipts handy in case of problems.

Shop’s Open – Marian’s Back to School Supply Store

Originally Posted on: 8/18/2012
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