Back to school: How to save money on school supplies

Back to school: How to save money on school supplies

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Back to school: How to save money on school supplies

We asked our readers how to save money on school supplies for the back-to-school season. Here are our favourite responses.

Stocking up on supplies for back to school can be pricey, especially if you’re sending several students to class. So we took to social media to ask for your advice on how to save on the tools they need to succeed. Here are our favourite tips.

“I make new pencil cases every year. My girls help pick the fabric and help sew.”—Kathleen Adams

“Our Parent Advisory Councils will bulk-buy and package school supplies, tailored according to grade level, and sell them to families before the end of June. The PACs make no profit, and parent volunteers do all the work.”—Carolyn Ingbritson

”First of all, we go through our supplies from the previous year and make lists of what each of them needs. We will buy them the basics, but if they want something 'extra' (like the scented markers or fancy, name-brand binders), they are expected to contribute with their allowances. If their backpacks are in good shape, we won't need a new one for the start of the year. The same goes for lunch bags and pencil cases.”—Stephanie Walters Bontoft

“Our first trip is to the dollar store, as they have come a long way by offering brand names and a wide variety of supplies. After that, we wait for the best sales on paper, binders and electronics!”—Alayne Stewart Langford

“I would buy supplies in September or October when the prices are really reduced. That way if something was lost or broken I always had something to replace it with during the school year. I also purchased supplies that I could donate to the school.”—Pam McLean

“I used to take home scrap blank paper from the office—most of it was still useable. The office also had tons of Duo-Tang folders to give away. I would box them up and drop them off to my kids’ school. Check the workplace. They usually have stuff.”—Sandee Wilson

“All school supplies are kept in a bin throughout the school year, and anything we might think we need gets written on a piece of paper and put into the bin. At the end of the school year, I go through the bin and keep a shopping list on me throughout the summer. But of course there is the odd item that gets forgotten.”—Mary Moro

”I start picking things up early. Sometimes I even grab things months before the first day, especially if it's a great deal. That also makes things easier when it is time to go back to school.”—Amanda Oblinsky

"Our school system got fed up with parents buying glue sticks and crayons that are poor quality from the dollar store instead of buying name brand. They've asked us to send a $20 cheque for supplies on the first day of school, but that amount lasts them the whole school year. Best of all, I save time and money on gas going to do this shopping, and the school buys in bulk from a wholesaler. Win, win!”—Dan N Jodi Lamirande

“You pray for the day your kids are all grown and pay for themselves.”—Sandra Whitehead-Othman

“Yard sales can have very slightly used items (crayons, markers, pencils) for just a few cents. If you say it's for your child's back to school they will probably just give it to you.”—Liza Klepacs

“Talk to film shoots about buying their supplies at the end of their run—they get rid of a ton of stuff, almost for nothing.”—Carol Anna Mcbride

Check out our back-to-school survival guide for more tips, lunch ideas and more!


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Back to school: How to save money on school supplies