Saving Secrets: How To Save Money Buying School Supplies

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I remember my mother being hit with that little piece of paper once a year: the school supply list specifying discretely the ways your child will be ridiculed if you skip something, or worse, choose to empty your wallet on alternative items. I know, I was sometimes that child. I think a kid bit me once because I didn’t have a clear two-inch three-ring binder…or was that a teacher? In any case, the expedition to complete the scavenger hunt sometimes resulted in a last-minute, totally-fed-up expenditure. This store didn’t have it, neither that one; this store was out and this store hadn’t gotten them in yet. As my own kids approached this point, I started hunting down


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9 Responses to Saving Secrets: How To Save Money Buying School Supplies

  1. princessperky says:

    I’ll ditto the decent backpack..while I do not know of that brand I do know the pack my mother bought me (the ONLY pack) has lasted for over 5 years of school and the remaining years (I don’t wan’t to do the math, it reminds me how old I am….) sigh fine…19years…one backpack, 18 near constant use for all 18 of em (it is my diaper bag)

  2. John Jay says:

    For the past several years Wal-Mart has had spiral notebooks for a dime each during the Back-to-School rush (loss leaders?). They work well with pencils, but not with fountain pens (cheap paper).

    I’d be interested to know how much you could save if you hit the loss leaders at the major retailers.

    I agree that it’s very important to have high-quality pens, pencils, and erasers. For older children a pack of good mechanical pencils might be pretty cheap in the long run if they don’t lose them frequently.

    For backpacks, my family swears by LL Bean. I think the key to items like backpacks, umbrellas, etc (things that see frequent use and have a strong chance of breaking) is to pay a premium for a solid brand with good customer service. LL Bean sent me a free replacement umbrella after my old one snapped off at the handle in a storm.

  3. I wish I’d known about the REI guarantee before I shelled out $50 for that new messenger bag! Next time….

  4. Eitan says:

    It was fun reading and it made me want to go out and buy in bulk.
    too bad I live so far…

  5. JohannaB says:

    My daughter has been using the same backpack since 7th grade. She is now a freshman in college and she carries that backpack EVERYWHERE. I got it from a leather shop here in Topeka for $50 which I thought was outrageous at the time but now I consider it a good buy. Thanks for the post.

  6. Kim Moore says:

    Careful with the felt pens, often they dry up before they get used.

  7. Pingback: Welcome to The 134th Carnival of Education at : Education and School Issues, News and Analysis

  8. Rachelle says:

    Oh my goodness! I wish I was going to school. I love buying school supplies and this list makes me want to buy them even more!

  9. Lana says:

    I work at Walmart. Each season depending on the even say Fourth of July or Christmas, things say the same price. Then the day after or few days after they go to clearance. Last year, right after school within a two week period all extra school supply things were put in Garden Center Clearance area. And I’m talking about a Five Star notebook that may have been $3 was now $1. I would wait for the few weeks after and stock up on the things that have dropped significantly in price.

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