Being massively thrifty this year, I decided not to fall into old habits, wait until the last minute and dash to Target only to have to pick amongst the last few school supplies to pay more than a $100 for the joy of sending my kids to school.
This year I pulled out the ads! Tada!
Here’s the catch, you have to really really read them.
It’s tempting to go to Wal-Mart or Target and both do NOT have the best prices. Nor (as I have sadly found out in past years) the best selection. If you’re a school supply procrastinator, who’s the winner?
At first blush, it looked like Office Max and Office Depot were the winners, with school supplies at only pennies (really lined paper for 1 cent?) – however, look at the small print? All require a purchase of so many dollars and limited quantities. I don’t know about you, but 3 pocket folders are definitely not enough (between two kids I bought 18). Which would have meant that I would have to either run to 3 stores, trying to figure out how to spend $30 each place or do the math, in which case the folders ended up more expensive.
So, the answer? Do it all at Walgreens. You have to use a few of their coupons, but I got by with ALL the school supplies for two kids for $57. I even decided to splurge for their “buy one get one free” backpacks which were a whopping $9.99 each, but you get one free. Backpacks, $5 each? Seriously? Now, they are NOT that great a quality, but the kids love them and if I have to replace them during the year, who cares, really?
Oh, and another tip on that – my brother suggests you pick up backpacks at Goodwill. By the time they’ve been used and survived to live another day at Goodwill – that’s a QUALITY backpack!
Let me know how you saved money on back to school shopping this year!