Tips to Save Money When Back-to-School Shopping

School supplies spread out on a table

Though you may be counting down the days until your children go to school, many dread the day that the list of necessary supplies comes through the door. You are expected to spend a large amount of money all at once to make sure that your children have everything that they need to succeed.

However, it doesn't have to be as expensive as you may think. Here are some tips to save money while back-to-school shopping.

Look around your home.

There is nothing wrong with using items that you have around your home. In fact, it can save you quite a bit of money! You may be able to put two boxes of crayons or markers together to make a full set. You might have quite a few extra pencils left over from the big box that you bought last year. You may even have a binder or two that were barely used the year before that you can use again.

Spread out your purchases.

Many parents go shopping once to get everything that their children need for school. However, if you have a month, you can buy a few items every week until you have everything that you need.

You can even take all summer.

You know that you are going to need certain supplies, such as pencils and folders so you can start your shopping list early, spreading it out over months instead of weeks!

Buy in bulk.

If you have multiple children, you may be able to buy pencils, erasers, folders, and more in bulk. You should be able to split a big box of supplies between your children, making it more affordable to get them the things that they need.

Then, there are times when the more items that you buy, the cheaper each one is. If you buy two folders, you may pay twenty or thirty cents for one. If you buy ten, they may be ten cents a piece (or less). You may notice that you can buy ten pieces for the price of three or four. You can split the rest between your other children, or it might be nice to have some around (or even for next year).

Don't be afraid to shop at dollar stores.

Many dollar stores can help you save money when it comes to shopping for back-to-school supplies. Not only do they have pencils, paper, and folders, they offer Kleenexes and hand sanitizer. However, it is best to start shopping early because many other parents may have the same idea.

Hold off on clothing.

Many parents want to buy their children new clothing for school, but it can be costly. Sales on clothing usually start after your children are back to school. If you can push your children back a few weeks, you will be able to buy them more clothes for the same price.

The best way to get started is by looking around your home for supplies that you may already have. You may have quite a few boxes of crayons that you can put together to make a complete set. You may also have some pencils and folders that you can reuse this year.

It also helps to spread out your purchases. If you can divide your list, it is often more affordable to spend an extra twenty dollars a week instead of finding an extra hundred at the end of summer! If you have more than one child, you might be able to buy items in bulk. Each item is going to be cheaper when you buy multiple ones at once.

You also should hold off on buying clothing. If you wait a few weeks, you will be able to shop sales and get more for your money.