Last Minute Back To School Savings Tips

Backpack and school supplies: books, notepad, felt-tip pens, scissors on brown wooden table

Photo: Getty Images

With the kids heading back to school, it’s time to buy supplies again and with prices going up everywhere, it’s not going to be cheap. A recent survey from Deloitte finds that parents plan to spend an average of $661 per kid on back-to-school shopping. And according to another survey from Credit Karma, 42% of parents say they plan to take on debt to cover these expenses.

To help avoid that, try these tips from parents, teachers and students for saving money on back-to-school shopping:

“Hit up back to school sales at office supply stores like Office Depot and Staples. You can get many items for under $1 right before school starts. They always have a huge selection, unlike the big box stores.”

“A lot of things like pencil pouches and spiral notebooks can be purchased from places like Dollar Tree because they are far less expensive, but investigate which items you should invest more in because the difference in quality can be meaningful.”

“Buy supplies the first or second weekend after students return to school. Sales are huge and often better than the tax free holidays. Check with the teachers first, especially if money is tight. We are happy to help!”

“Also, consider what your student is likely to need right away, like paper and pencils, and prioritize them. Some items can wait a few weeks, so buy them last.”

“Look for used items like backpacks, pencil pouches, and lunchboxes on apps like Depop and Poshmark. The price is usually way less — just make sure everything is clean once you get it.”

“I splurge on the 'big items,' such as binders, backpacks, and water bottles. The reason being is that if the items are more durable, they last much longer and you do not have to buy new supplies nor do you have to add unnecessary waste.”

“At the elementary school level, we have formed a group, and each parent is buying things in bulk to share among the group. I can get 24 packs of crayons for $18 rather than the $1 each at the store. Same with markers, notebooks, pencils, etc. We are also asked to supply Kleenex, Clorox wipes, and hand sanitizer, which also come cheaper in bulk.”

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