This is a HOT topic right now. My kids start back in just two weeks! Summer has FLOWN by!
So, while the deals will come and go each week, there are a few blanket suggestions that I have learned over the 5 years that I have had to do the big, bad, BACK TO SCHOOL shopping.
There will be several offers that come up in July and August for a really cheap or FREE item that is most likely on your list. Last week, CVS had free paper towels. The week before, Target had a coupon that made those plastic poly-folder things free; three of them were free with the one coupon, to be exact! However, even if you have already purchased these items, you may need them again in the middle of the year, or even for next year. So when those freebies come up, GRAB THEM! Your child’s teacher would probably appreciate the donations if you don’t like to store them.
But, if you can’t make yourself collect free gluesticks before the 4th of July, or refuse to leave the pool before the week school starts….whatever reason that you aren’t able to grab those deals, I have found that Target seems to have the best prices in general. Walmart isn’t bad, Office Depot has some great deals, and I have been hearing about awesome sales at Big Lots. But, Target always has fabulous prices on school supplies and will more than likely have coupons on their website, some Cartwheel offers to go with them, and maybe a few more layers to stack. So, it’s my one stop shop suggestion!
I have been really lucky in the fact that I have never spent $20 on one of our lists. So, I pick up the freebies as they come up, then I will go to Target and grab the rest next week. I even got a $5 off $25 school supplies coupon when I went on Friday! Yay!!
This is a little more difficult to get really great deals. But, it’s not impossible.
I have already found uniform shorts for less than $6 per pair. This was at The Children’s Place a few weeks ago. They had a sale on their elastic waist shorts for boys and then there was a 20% coupon. That made them just $5.24 each! However, these are not TCP’s “uniform” collection. They are just elastic waist shorts that happen to be available in solid colors. For our school, that is acceptable. For $5.24, that will do!
This week, Old Navy has their uniform tops on sale for $5 and bottoms are $10. This is a good price on tops, but I found flat front, elastic shorts in another section on sale for $8, plus if you sign up for their emails, they will send you a coupon for 20% off. This makes them just $6.40!
So, do you see my trick? I try to find shorts that are not classified as “uniform” because that seems to be cheaper at this point in the year. The “uniform” collections almost seem to be a bit nicer, or dressier and that isn’t a necessity for us. I have two boys that may come home with glue all over them, or holes that they cut themselves! I don’t need dressy! I need $6 uniforms!
So, the key is to start watching for the deals early, and learn to think outside the uniform!
It’s almost time, mamas! Just keep it together a little bit longer!
How do you save money on back to school items?
About Northshore Mama
Kari, born and raised on the Northshore, began Northshore Mama after her family experienced a couple of rough financial years. Kari shares the tips and tricks to maneuvering each store’s different marketing of their sales, as well as introducing her readers to various programs and websites where she earns free stuff every day. Northshore Mama’s mission is to bring you the coupon deals and show you how to match them up with each store’s weekly sales to get the most bang for your buck!