Tips and tricks to save on Back-To-School Shopping

Tips and tricks to save on Back-To-School Shopping

This post is part of my Back-To-School guide.  To learn more click the photo below:

We all know Back-To-School shopping can get expensive.  And if you don't plan right you can get unnecessary things or even miss something.

This is only my 3rd year of B2S shopping, but I want to share some of my tips with you.

 For Quinn I had quite a few hand me downs from Brandon.  Since he is only going to preschool I wasn't to worried about buying him new clothing.  
For Brandon a few items would still fit him from last year since they were big. 
1) Go through what you have an make a list.  Then make a 2nd list of what you need.  This way you never have more then you need and you will always have enough.

My next tip is to late for the first half of the year, but will be great in a few months for the 2nd half.  Around April stores begin to put their winter items on clearance.  I grab school stuff then.  I got my son a coat for $15 marked down from $60 not only was it on clearance, but I also had a coupon.  If you watch soon summer items will go on sale and you can get some cute outfits for the end of the school year.
2) Shop for winter items in summer and summer items in winter.  This way you will get great deals on clearance items.

Coupons a few days before you are ready to go shopping go to the websites of the stores you plan to shop at.  A lot of them have an email newsletter and if you sign up most of them will send you a welcome coupon.  Plus they will send you coupons through out the year.  
Here is a list of a few stores who I know send welcome coupons and stores that sent them through out the year.  Gap, Old Navy, Children's Place, Kohl's, Gymboree and there are so many more.  Just check out your favorite stores and see if they have a newsletter.
3) Sign up for newsletters to get great coupons to help you save.

Supplies this is the one item I always buy more of.  Last year my sons teacher kept sending home notes that he was out of glue, crayons and so many other things.  I wish I would have stocked up at Walmart when they had their great deals going on.  So this year I bought more then I need of crayons, pencils, notebooks, erasers, glue and extra folders.  Supplies are not like clothing they wont out grow them and if you buy chance buy to many you can use them the next year.
4) Get classroom supplies while they are a great price.  You never know if you child will run out half way through the year, then you will be stuck paying full price.

  I got Brandon a cute backpack at ToysRus this year!  It is actually something for Skylanders game pieces, but it made the perfect backpack for him.  Plus it was part of their sale, I'm pretty sure it had a green sticker so I was able to save.  Michael's the craft store also has cute items you may not be able to find in regular stores and if you go to their site they always have coupons you can print from their weekly flyer.
5) Make sure to check unlikely places.  You never know where you can find a good deal.

  I still have about 4 or 5 things on my list.  I want to get 2 pairs of sweatpants and a nice spring outfit.  I don't need them right away so instead of spending more now I plan to wait until Christmas and stick them under the tree as gifts.  Or even tell family member who ask what to get them.  Often times my grandmother will hand me money and tell me to just grab something from her and then give it to her to wrap.
6) Don't think you need to get everything at once.  Christmas is a great time to get the rest.

Lunch boxes are a hidden fee most of us don't think of.  Instead of buying sandwich bags and over priced juice boxes why not get reusable containers?  Its cheaper to buy a box of cookies instead of buying the single wrapped packages. I have a sandwich container and 3 stainless steal containers (great for fruit, crackers and other small snacks) the only container I need to find is a reliable juice holder.  Last years ours leaked so I want to find one I can trust.
Not only will reusable save you money, but its also better for the Earth if we don't make so much waste.
7) If you can, use reusable containers in the lunch box to save money.  

Last and surely not least is that Back-To-School grocery order.  I have been saving my coupons for quite some time now.  My son is a picky eater so we pack about 85% of the time.  I have a planters peanut butter coupon set aside, Welshes Jelly was just in the paper on Sunday.  I also have Juicy Juice coupons, cookies and I plan to stock up on Goldfish this week with giants buy theirs get ours free deal.    Juicy Juice is also on this deal.  
8) For lunch box shopping save your coupons and if there is a good deal on food that will stay good, buy it in bulk.

I hope you can use some of these tips.  If you have any please let them in the comments.  I'm always looking for ways to save!