While you may be looking forward to the start of a new year of homeschooling, it’s likely you don’t look forward to the cost of your kids’ school supplies! It doesn’t matter if your kids are in 2nd grade or 9th grade, back-to-school time can be expensive.
Luckily, there are ways to save money regardless of what grade your kids are heading into this year. You just need to know these 9 ways homeschoolers can save on back to school supplies.
9 Ways Homeschoolers Can Save on Back To School Supplies
1. Avoid Trends
Avoiding trendy products is an easy way to save money on back-to-school supplies. Back in the day it wasn’t really an issue, as all school supplies were pretty much plain and functional. But now there’s so much branded merchandise that it can be easy to overspend on the simplest of items.
So if you want to stick to your budget, you need to avoid trends. But don’t just say no to the trendy cartoon notebooks or the folders with photos of the hottest band without explanation.
Use this as a learning experience for your kids, showing them how the branded items cost more but aren’t necessarily of better quality (in fact, in many cases they’re of worse quality).
2. Shop Your Own Home
Sometimes you don’t even need to leave your home to do half of your back-to-school shopping! Instead, just search through closets, drawers and old pencil boxes for school supplies that can be used again this year.
Maybe you bought a bulk box of pencils last year, or the kids’ folders from last semester are still in fine shape. You might even find a couple of reams of lined paper that you forgot you had in a closet! So do a quick search and you may save time and money!
3. Shop Garage Sales and Thrift Shops
It’s really easy to find school supplies at garage sales during the summer! So spend a weekend or two doing a sweep of your local garage sales and see if anyone is selling school supplies.
It’s just school, everything will get scuffed up in a week or two anyway, so it doesn’t matter if the kids have used items. I also love shopping at goodwill. You would be shocked at the good deals you can find on books etc there!
4. Shop Online
Online shopping isn’t just for finding college textbooks at discounted prices. You can also find some great deals on a lot of common school supplies.
For example, on eBay you can sometimes find people selling discount priced cases of lined paper. And if you have several kids, you may love the bulk packs of spiral notebooks you can get on Amazon. And if you need anything special to go with your homeschooling curriculum, definitely check out eBay.
Tons of people are homeschooling these days, but don’t know what to do with their curriculum supplies once the school year is over. So they put them on eBay at great prices!
5. Shop the Tax Free Weekend
A smart way to save money on back-to-school supplies is also to shop the back-to-school sales tax holiday in your state (if your state has one, you can check here).
Admittedly, the stores are pretty crazy during these times as everyone tries to get a good deal on school supplies, clothes, and computers (though the tax-free items vary by state). But if you can brave the crowds (and get to the stores before everything’s gone) then you can walk away with some big savings!
6. Shop Different Stores
When most people think of back-to-school shopping, they think of stores like Walmart or Target. But what about the office supply stores, or even the dollar store? They won’t be as busy during the back-to-school rush, plus they might have better prices.
But at the dollar store, do be careful and consider the unit price (the price divided by the amount). For example, a 50 sheet notebook priced at $4 equals 8 cents per sheet.
While a dollar store pack of lined paper may only be a dollar, it may also include less paper than a traditional pack and as a result cost more per page.
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7. Use Coupons
If you want to save money on anything, you should use coupons. If you want to save money on back-to-school supplies, you need to hunt down some coupons! Check store circulars, coupon circulars you get in the mail, RetailMeNot, store apps, and sign up for store email newsletters.
Stores compete with each other to get you to come in and buy back-to-school supplies. Competition often drives down prices. Know your stores and request their circulars. Don’t forget to follow your favorite deal blog too!
8. Buy in Bulk
Buying food in bulk is a great way to save money on groceries, and buying school supplies in bulk is a great way to save money on your kids’ school supplies. If you have a membership to a place like Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJs, don’t forget to check them for some great bulk deals!
9. Buy Later
Sometimes waiting until the last-minute can pay off! Instead of heading to the store with everyone else in August, see if you can wait a while. Maybe even go shopping after the kids are back to school, using the items you found from tip #2 to keep them supplied in the meantime.
If you can wait, then supplies will start to go on sale. Just don’t wait too long! The longer you wait, the more limited your selection will be.
Using these tips will help get the homeschool off to a good start and you should be able to save money in your wallet!
What do you do to save money on back-to-school supplies?