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13 July 2012

I hate to bring this up.....

OK.  I hate to be the one to bring this up, but it needs to be said.

It's time to start thinking about......

back to school supplies!

It's out there.  It's starting earlier than anyone wants it to - at least in our county.  We might as well face this head on.

Not to be all geeky on you, but the National Retail Federation states that the average family spent $603.63 on back to school supplies.  What the, huh?  Are you kidding me? 

That's just barely less than I spent to buy all the books to educate my children for the entire coming year! (Big thanks to Amazon & Ebay) 

I am seriously amazed by this. 

Let's just go over some of the basics to cut that whopper of a number back a little.

1.  Clothes
        There is still plenty of time to hit the yard sales, garage sales and thrift stores. 
        Plan a back to school clothing swap with some of your friends. 
        Check on Ebay for some gently used clothing lots.
        If you must buy retail, go when there's a sale.  Never pay full price. 
        Eventually, everything will go on sale.

2.  Shoes

        This is a tough one for me.  We are "blessed" with giant, wide feet.  We stick
         with Stride Rite or New Balance shoes.  I keep my eyes open for the back to
         school sale at Stride Rite.  In all honesty, I already have this years shoes in the
         top of the closet for two out of three.  I picked them up at the end of season sale
         this past Spring.  Just do your best but remember - if you're going to buy new,
         shoes are the place to do it. 

3.  Supplies

         Now is the time to save some cash.  Don't just run to WalMart and pick up your
         back to school list.  Pick it up, take it home and check out the ads.  Staples &
         Office Max are already running their penny deals.  I picked up 96 single subject
         notebooks at WalMart this week for $16.32.  That's just $0.17 per notebook.  I'm
         using these for THESIS co-op this year.  Or, I can make a giant paper tent. 
         Either way, I've gotten a great deal. 

         Stop and think about what you might need for the year.  I always pick up more
         then enough crayons, pens, glue sticks, tape, pencils - all that kind of stuff to last
         until next back to school time.  I also wait until the "cool" folders go on sale to
         pick them up.  The boys loved last year when all of a sudden their history was in
         an Iron Man folder.  For no good reason, it made their day. 

4.  Other random things
        Two things I'm keeping an eye on their prices are coffee and computers.
        Josh wants a computer for his birthday this fall and with kids off to college,
        this is usually a good time to pick them up.

        And coffee usually goes on sale around this time.  Just like the crayons, I'm
        planning on picking up enough to last me until next year.  Let's face it,  coffee
        prices have gotten crazy.

Don't get sucked into the back to school spending trap.

You can do it!


Rachel E. said...

Oh, I know what you mean! I can remember back when I was a kid and things used to be cheap...okay, really? How would I know that, right? I need to start looking into the sale ads for school supplies, but I don't buy the paper. So, will have to look on line for the savings. Thanks for the heads up.

Lori said...

That number is outrageous! I don't think I have ever spent that much on all 3 kids together for back to school. Thanks for the tips.

Anonymous said...

I also find school supplies at yard sales, especially notebooks, binders, paper etc. I recently bought an entire huge box of 3 ring binders very good condition for like $3.00 always plan ahead, great reminder thanks

Charli said...

Stephanie! How could I forget about yard sales? I picked up a two pack of binders at a yard sale this year - still in wrap - for $1. Good point. Can't believe I forgot to mention that.

Megan@DoNotDisturb said...

I must admit that when people ask me if I am taking the girls back-to-school shopping I always tell them no. Obviously we get basic school supplies but when it come to having everything new, we pass. I am a huge yard sale shopper and never feel it necessary to buy new. Backpacks are always on sale at the end of the back to school season to buy for the next year.