Preparing for the Upcoming School Year Part 1: Shopping for School Supplies

The end of summer also signals back to school sales for supplies and clothes. It’s time to get organized before you head out shopping with your kids for those new backpacks and markers.

Here are 5 tips to get you started:

  • Plan ahead: Take stock of what your child actually needs to start the school year. Spend some time going through their closets and dressers and pack away (or garage sale) clothes that don’t fit. It’s probably going to stay warm enough for summer clothes at least for a few weeks to a month into the year, so I always wait to start buying jeans and long sleeves (unless of course you see a great sale).

  • School supply lists: Review what your child’s teachers are requesting for this year. Your child’s school probably provided these when they sent out registration information, or else you can probably find them at the local stores selling school supplies. Some things like a book bag, paint shirt, and school box you may be able to reuse from last year.
  • Watch sale fliers: Every week now stores are including school supply sales on everything your kids needs for school. I’ve had great luck at Walgreens already this year. I recently found great deals on pencils, folders, and erasers.
  • Stock up: Buy extras of items you know your child will run out of before the school year is over with (notebooks, pens, and pencils for example). It will be cheaper to have them on hand come December rather than paying more when your child runs out. I also usually buy a few extras of things on my kids’ lists to give to the teacher to have on hand as well.
  • Start now: Shopping early can save you some money, and it can also mean you’ll have a better selection of supplies rather than shopping last minute.

If you’re looking for more help tracking each store’s school supply sales, check out The sales are listed by store making it easy to match up your child’s school supply list with the best sales.

Many states offer “tax free” shopping weekends to save you even more on back to school items. Check out our recent blog post listing the days for each state’s tax free weekends to find out when is the best time to shop.

I always save a few things on my kids supply list for them to pick out for school each year. We usually pick a day to do our school shopping where we buy their new shoes, backpacks, and we also buy the rest of the things on their school lists that I haven’t found on sale already. We make a day of it and it always includes lunch at a place they choose.

This year before choosing your day to go school shopping with your kids, plan ahead a little bit to get yourself the best deals on back to school items. Maybe with the money you save, you’ll cave and buy your 1st grader those $50 pair of shoes he’s been asking for all summer (not that anyone would actually do that).

Cash Back Resources


Additional Back to School Resources

  • Kohls Coupons
  • Best Buy Coupons
  • Office Depot Coupons
  • Walgreens Coupons
  • Teacher Discounts Cheat Sheet
  • Textbook Deals Cheat Sheet
  • Back-to-School Shopping on a Budget
  • Master List for Back to School Shopping Cheat Sheets
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