8 Unique Places + Ideas To Save Money On Back To School Supplies

Back to school essnetials for middle school kids

Back to school season is here. Here are 8 Unique Places + Ideas To Save Money On Back To School Supplies, plus ways to save on school supplies.  Going back to school shopping shouldn’t break the bank or stress you out. Here are three essential things I do, and what you should do to have a successful and budget-friendly experience. In this sponsored post collaboration with Protective, get tips on how to save on school supplies. 

Back to school season is here. Here are 8 Unique Places + Ideas To Save Money On Back To School Supplies, plus ways to save on school supplies. Going back to school shopping shouldn't break the bank or stress you out. Here are three important things I do, and what you should do in order to have a successful and budget-friendly school shopping experience.

8 Unique Places + Ideas To Save Money On Back To School Supplies

Summer is not even over, but yet, here we are talking about back to school stuff already! Oh don’t worry, I’m still enjoying my summer vacation and traveling with the family, but I want to share these back to school tips with Y’all. 

8 Unique Places + Ideas To Save Money On Back To School Supplies

I’m not going to even sugar coat this, as much as I don’t want to think about back-to-school stuff, I’ve already started shopping for school essentials. 




Here’s why. To make sure you get the best bang for your buck, shopping early for back to school supplies is a must! I’m spilling my best tips on getting the best deals on school essentials. 

Middle School Must-Have Essentials

Eight unique place and ideas to find school supplies! 

  1. The Dollar Store. Seriously, everything is a $1.00, and they carry almost everything you need for back to school supplies. I wouldn’t advise buying a backpack there, but you can get pencils, paper, crayons, and even hygiene supplies at the Dollar Store. 
  2. Target has a $1.00 spot at the front of their store. Be sure you check out that area before heading to their seasonal back to school area. 
  3. Stores like Walmart, Target, Staples and Office Depot will price match, that way, instead of running to five stores to get all of those amazing deals, just take the ad to a store with a price-matching policy. 
  4. Swap with other Moms. Check your mom friends to see what school supplies their kids may not need any more (example: their high school student graduated last year and had a graphing calculator). 
  5. Check Facebook sell groups, thrift stores or Craigslist for used school supply items. 
  6. The craft stores also carry back to school items at a great bargain (as well as the drug stores). 
  7. Buy bulk school supplies on sites like Amazon or in-store at Costco’s or Sam’s Club. 
  8. Don’t forget to check non-office supply stores. Many grocery stores will have back to school items in the seasonal section of their store. They want to get parents to the store and shop for groceries, so they will offer heavily discounted deals on back to school items (called loss leaders). 

Download our FREE printables:

Things to remember:

Best time to buy school supplies for stock up prices will be the middle of July – end of August. 

One thing to keep in mind throughout the back to school process. Get the kids involved and make this process a teachable moment. We often forget to teach our kids how to manage money. Planning for back-to-school expenses is a great place to start. Let them help you build a budget and prioritize the list – even picking out which items are most important (such as a new dress or that fancy backpack).

Also, another thing to keep in mind when it comes to back to school shopping and money management, reserve some budget. It never fails, but once school starts, the boys will come home with something new they need. Or, the teacher suggested or requested they buy _____. Be ready by saving some of the back to school budget for this curveball. 

How To Save On Back To School Supplies

My method to save money on back to school supplies:

Shop at home. Before going out to the store to buy anything, go through all of the school supplies from last year. At the end of each school year, the boys bring home whatever school supplies are in their lockers and backpacks. I store leftover school supplies for the upcoming school year. 

Shop clearance items. At the end of each school shopping season, I raid the clearance items and put things up for the next school year. Depending on when each store puts school items on sale, you may be able to get the current year’s school supplies at a heavily discounted price. Keep in mind; many retailers are trying to push the seasonal items out to get ready for the next season. So, for school supplies, most stores start marking items on clearance at the end of August, or the first week of September. 

Shop early. Many of the back to school deals began in the middle of July. We’re just entering the second week of July, and I’ve already spotted quite a few school deals. 

Deals on clothes. Since most children go back to school at the end of summer, they will still be able to wear summer clothes. Stores are marking down summer items now to make space for fall. I also like to shop online, shop at the outlets, and of course, shopping right at home. 

Plan, plan, and plan again. With one or several children, you will save the most money by planning. Sit down and make a list of everything your child(ren) needs. Then start the list off by going through their clothes, supplies, and other essentials to see what they already have. 

Look for deals. Check out deal sites to find sales on those expensive items, like computers, graphing calculators, name-brand gym shoes, and more. Electronic stores offer deals on computers during the back to school season, and many of them have student discount programs. You can also find back to school deals on our sister site, A Mitten Full Of Savings. 

Use apps. Rebate apps such as Ibotta and Checkout51 are ways to save money on back to school items. 

Use coupons. Around this time of year, you will find school related coupons in your newspaper. Also, keep an eye out for coupons on products, and in-store coupon promotions. 

Don’t fall for the okey-doke. Kids and even the school will say you need to buy a ton of things. Unless your child is attending a private school or a school where you have to purchase a ton of stuff, don’t fall into that trap. When the twins started Kindergarten, I remember buying WAY too much because I was excited as a first-time Kindergarten Mom. I quickly learned they didn’t need all those things. Stick to the list and stay on a budget. 

In the grand scheme of things, the biggest ways to save on school supplies is planning, shopping early, and shopping the sales. If you follow these three things, you will save money and time. 

Protective wants you to take control of your back to school costs and offers ten ways you can do this without breaking the bank. Just as everything else in life, back to school shopping should not stress you out mentally or financially. Find more savings and financial tips on back to school costs by exploring the learning center on Protective.com


8 Unique Places + Ideas To Save Money On Back To School Supplies


Back To School Shopping List for Elementary School Students. Download our FREE printable on what kids will need for school!


Back To School Shopping List for Middle School Students. Download our FREE printable on what teens will need for school!

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  1. I love this! There are only two things I do early shopping for – Christmas and back to school. It’s the only way to get the most bang for your buck in both cases.

  2. kellyhutchinson37920
    July 21, 2017

    We usually shop at the Dollar Tree or Walmart for our school supplies. We are actually heading there this weekend.

  3. July 21, 2017

    I LOVE shopping at Dollar Tree for school supplies! I used to teach preschool and we had to buy most of the supplies out of our own pocket, the Dollar Tree and Target’s dollar bins were a lifesaver for me.

  4. You can NEVER go wrong with the Dollar Store!!! Love saving money on back-to-school especially! Great photos!!!

  5. Claudia Krusch
    July 21, 2017

    I always look for good deals on school supplies. I already have most of what we need for this September. I love to use apps and price match to save some cash.

  6. Kristi
    July 21, 2017

    I’m glad you put shop at home first. I’m amazed all the items we can reuse and not have to purchase. Pays to look through what you have first then make a list of what else is needed.

  7. jmanandmillerbug
    July 21, 2017

    We just got the list for school supplies and I definitely need to find ways to save money. There are so many things that we need to buy for school this year. I am definitely going to do a lot of these.

  8. July 22, 2017

    I think it’s never too early to shop for school supplies. You can always get the best deals if you have more time to look. I find deals at the Dollar Store all the time.

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