Take inventory in your house:
Chances are you already have a few items on the supply list. If your child needs 2 red pens, do not buy a box because it is a good deal (unless you use them regularly at home). If you have an open package of pens at home, take 2 and put in their supplies for school. Most schools are sending home leftover supplies at the end of the school year. Take what you need for this year from that pile first.
Make your list and stick to it:
Most of us like to throw in a few extras for our kids, but the supply list really is long enough. Only send what is asked for, and stick to your list.
Leave the kids at home:
If you can do the shopping without the kids, this WILL save you money. They will always want the scribblers with characters or “cool” designs ($2+ per scribbler). If you want, pick up a pack of stickers and let them personalize the books (it’s much cheaper to spend $1 on stickers to decorate $0.10 scribblers!)
Shop smart, choose quality over quantity:
Budget more money for items of Quality. Spend more on backpacks, lunch bags, sneakers, etc...items you need to last the whole year. Buy generic on pencils, pencil crayons, scribblers, binders, etc.
Not all school supplies will have coupons, but some do, so watch your sales flyers and match the sales with a coupon for the best deal. Lunch items such as snacks items & juice boxes are on sale for about a month straight this time of year. Remember to stock up on some now, while the prices are good. Everything has a sales cycle, meaning, they will be on sale again. The average sales cycle for most items is 4-6 weeks.
Clean the closet:
Kids do not need a new wardrobe to start school. Go through your child’s closet and pull out any clothes that no longer fit. You will find there are many items you can continue to use. Any items that no longer fit, take them to a consignment store, and you will earn money towards future purchases. Many stores offer Back to School sales on clothing, so watch for them and take advantage of the many that offer discount coupons online and in store.