Secrets to Saving Money on School Supplies

Posted on 07/27/2011

Public school teachers spent more than $1.33 billion of their own money last year on school supplies and instructional materials, according to research from the National School Supply and Equipment Association. Teachers spent on average $356 of their own money on stuff for the classroom, including an average of $170 on supplies. Relieve some of the burden off your child’s teacher by using these tips for saving money on school supplies.

Start At Home - Take some time to tackle the office filing cabinet or kitchen junk drawer. There may be some perfectly fine forgotten school supplies stashed out of sight. Nothing beats free when you’re trying to save money on back-to-school shopping!

Don’t Do One-Stop Shopping - School supply sales are already underway. Each week various stores offer incredible deals on different must-have items ranging from backpacks to notebooks. You’ll notice stores sell a few items each week at deep discounts including many items for a penny or a quarter. Avoid the temptation to buy everything else—even if it’s not on sale. Just pick up the supplies that are on sale.

Study Up on Store Policies - Not all office supply big box stores are the same. Some price match, others accept competitor coupons and some welcome manufacturer coupons. For instance, Staples and Office Depot take competitor coupons, but Office Max does not. Brush up on store policies by checking out this article at

Shop During Tax Holidays - More than a dozen states offer sales tax holidays during back-to-school shopping time. That way you can buy all of your school supplies without having to pay sales tax on them. Check out for a full list of dates and details and find out if your state is participating.

Don’t Forget About Drug Stores - Stores like Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid also get in the school supply sale game. You can pick up pencils for pennies or notebooks for a nickel during these special sales. Just keep an eye on purchase limits because often you can only get that discounted price on one or two items.

By Alison Storm

The Children's Place coupon - Save an extra 15% sitewide with coupon code X3E2011 through 09/05/2011.

Office Depot coupon - Save $10 on non-technology orders of $50 or more with coupon code 88349421 through 08/01/2011.

* Hot deals expire quickly. This deal may no longer be valid.

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