10 Best Ways to Save on a Backpack With School Supplies
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The new school year is almost here! If you’re a parent, chances are that you’ve already begun preparing for the upcoming expenses. Between school supplies and uniforms, it’s no wonder why so many parents are in a panic to find ways to save on back-to-school items. Here at Operation $40K, we have 10 simple tips to help you get started saving money now!
It’s hard to believe that August is right around the corner and it’s time to get ready for the new school year. That includes purchasing outfits or uniforms and buying back-to-school supplies.
10 Best Ways to Save on a Backpack With School Supplies
With the economy forcing people to pinch and save, it makes sense to do some homework and investigation before purchasing back-to-school supplies. Here are a few ideas that will you save money when purchasing your children’s school supplies.
1. Get a list from your child’s school.
This list will show exactly what back-to-school supplies are required for the school year. Working from a list helps you from overspending and stick to a budget.
2. If you think your kids may want something extra, explain that you are following a budget but will allow one extra item.
Knowing that there are limitations, but still, room to purchase something “extra” will alleviate your anxiety while shopping and tether in your child’s expectations.
3. Before leaving your house to shop, determine what supplies you already have at home.
Although it may take some time to do this, it’s worth it in the long run and nicer to the wallet. Look in drawers in the kitchen, bedrooms, and office to see how many pens and pencils you already have. You will probably be pleasantly surprised to find scissors, glue, and maybe even more!
Number three is the most important tip, in my opinion. I know it’s not always easy and we don’t want to admit when we’re wrong or see something as an opportunity for improvement but there are plenty of things in our homes that could be reused instead of buying new. Instead of a Backpack With School Supplies, maybe this year you have a messenger bag.
In the morning when I’m getting ready for work, I always make sure to grab my lunch from the fridge instead of going out and buying something; if there’s a stain on one side of my shirt that needs some laundry love but it still looks okay with a jacket over top, then so be it – use those stained clothes for now and then buy new when you can afford to.
If we make the effort to use what’s already in our homes, chances are that it will save us money in the long run.
4. Check eBay or Craig’s List for school supplies.
You’d be surprised at the deals that you can make with sellers on items. You can also sell items that you have at home to make a profit.
5. Check yard sales or garage sales, thrift shops, or consignment shops.
Many people who hold sales yard and garage sales will bargain with you simply because they want to get rid of things.
Number five is where things get a little tricky. I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and that couldn’t be more true. There are some awesome deals to be found at garage sales, consignment shops, and while thrifting. This is where I pick up Backpacks for not only school supplies, but for travel with the dog, and my prepping items like bug out bags (BOB) and get home bags (GHB).
6. Be sure and scour the Sunday ads for coupons and special deals before going shopping.
Aim for the larger retail stores versus shopping for back-to-school supplies at grocery chains or smaller drug stores where prices will be higher. Many stores have already begun advertising specials such as ‘buy one get two free’ (Walgreen’s), or ‘for a limited time, pay less than $1’ (Staples) on all kinds of school supplies.
7. You may be one of the lucky folks who live in a state that offers a tax-free week or weekend to shop for school supplies.
This is a great opportunity to buy supplies without paying sales tax.
Number seven applies to people who reside in the following states:
- Arkansas When: Aug. 7–Aug. 8 What: Clothing and footwear under $100, accessories under $50, and select school supplies.
- Connecticut When: Aug. 15–Aug. 21 What: Connecticut goes sales-tax-free for an entire week! Enjoy zero sales tax on clothing and footwear costing less than $100 per item. Athletic uniforms and gear excluded.
- Florida When: July 31–Aug. 9 What: Dodge tax on clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item, certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item, and the first $1,000 of the cost of a computer.
- Iowa When: Aug. 6–Aug. 7 What: Clothing or footwear selling for less than $100 is not taxed this weekend. This excludes backpacks, handbags, and athletic uniforms.
- Maryland When: Aug. 8–Aug. 14 What: Maryland spoils you for a week with no sales tax. Pay no sales tax on clothing and footwear priced under $100 (excludes accessories) and the first $40 of a backpack purchase.
- Massachusetts When: Aug. 14-Aug. 15 What: All retail goods priced at $2,500 or less, except motor vehicles, motorboats, meals, telecommunication services, gas, steam, electricity, tobacco products, marijuana, and marijuana products.
- Mississippi When: July 30–July 31 What: Clothing and footwear costing less than $100 per item. Excludes backpacks.
- Missouri When: Aug. 6–Aug. 8 What: Any article of clothing, including footwear, with a taxable value of $100 or less; school supplies not to exceed $50 per purchase; graphing calculators not to exceed $150; computer software with a taxable value of $350 or less; and personal computers less than $1,500.
- New Mexico When: Aug. 6–Aug. 8 What: Clothing or shoes priced at less than $100 per item; computers at $1,000; related computer hardware at $500; and school supplies for $30 or less. Note that retailers are not required to participate in New Mexico’s tax-free weekend, so ask before you buy!
- Ohio When: Aug. 6–Aug. 8 What: Clothing priced at $75 per item or less, school supplies or school instructional material priced at $20 per item or less and instructional materials less than $20 per item.
- Oklahoma When: Aug. 6–Aug. 8 What: Clothing and footwear priced under $100. Accessories, athletic footwear, and protective gear are excluded.
- South Carolina When: Aug. 6–Aug. 8 What: Clothing, computers, accessories, school supplies, computers, and select home goods.
- Tennessee When: July 30–Aug. 1 What: Clothing items for less than $100; school supplies, including art supplies for school, that cost $100 or less per item; and computers that are $1,500 or less.
- Texas When: Aug. 6–Aug. 8 What: Most clothing, footwear, school supplies, swimwear, and backpacks priced less than $100 are free from sales and use taxes.
- Virginia When: Aug. 6–Aug. 8 What: School supplies at $20 or less per item and qualified clothing and footwear at $100 or less per item.
8. Go to the Dollar Store!
One of my favorite places for finding a bargain is Dollar Tree and Dollar General. Many times you can find quality brand-name items at a steal. Check it out before going to the larger retail chains.
9. Determine WHEN you will shop for back-to-school supplies.
Most kids don’t want to wait until the last minute but there’s plenty of money to save by doing so. On the other hand, stores will try to lure you in early with special deals. Be sure and check ads daily.
10. Be flexible.
You may be tempted to buy all school supplies at one store and get it over with. Realize that in your quest to save money, you will more than likely have to go to other stores. Additionally, you may have to wait for sales. Be patient – it adds up when you show flexibility.
To sum it all up – shop smart. Make a list, and stick to it. Being tempted with so many different sales specials is NOT a bargain for you if you blow your budget out of the water to take advantage of those deals.
Other Back to School articles that may help you if you found backpack with school supplies helpful:
- How to Rock Back-to-School Time as a Parent
- ABC Rice Krispy School Treats
- Back to School Shopping Hacks
- 6 Ways to Score Cheap School Supplies So You Can Bless Others
- 7 Ways to Save on Back to School Lunches
- Back To School Cheese Toast Rulers
- Back To School Free Printables!
- 7 Crazy Ways To Get Free School Supplies