Back to Cool

School supplies can be expensive. Those annual supply list may not look threatening, but the items can add up fast when you're standing in the store. That can make it hard to say yes to the extras that your kids want for back to school. Today we have some tips to help you save money on school supplies so that you can buy some of the cool items that they want. Plus, we'll tell you how Stockpile simple home inventory system can help you organize all those supplies.

Clearance Queen 

Our favorite tip is to stock up when items go on clearance. There are some supplies that show up on the list every year so you're pretty safe picking them up at the end of season sale. Notebook paper, crayons, pencils, erasers, and the like are all good bets. One caveat on notebook paper - when your kids make the jump from elementary to middle school they may switch from wide rule to college rule. Crayons and colored pencils become less common as they go up in grades as well. If you're concerned, and don't want to stock up on something you may not need you can always check the list for the grade above your child's year. Yes, the list may change slightly from one year to the next but it will give you a good idea of what they're going to need. This is also a great way to get the pricier fashion items like glitter notebooks and fancy pencil pouches. Often these specialty items get passed over at full price so they are still hanging around after school starts and they get marked down.

I Need It Now

What if you didn't stock up last year? Can you still save money on school supplies? Absolutely! Check the ads at Target, Walmart, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot and any other retailer you can think of. Then compare prices with online retailers. Sometimes stores will run a super special on one item just to get you in the door. Instead of buying everything in one stop you can make a list of the best deals at each store and just get the lowest priced items. Amazon and other online sellers may have lower prices on bulk items so if you have multiple kids this may be the way to go to get what you need. Price shopping and store hopping can be a lot of work, but it could save you big bucks in the long run.

Big Ticket Items 

The little things can add up, but sometimes it's the big ticket items that break the bank. What do you do when you child needs needs a new backpack ($50), a lunchbox ($25), and a powerful graphing calculator ($120 or more)? Shop those sales! Don't buy cheap. A bargain backpack won't save you bucks if you have to replace it halfway through the year when a replacement is hard to find and overpriced. Choose a sturdy pack that will last all year, if not longer. The upfront cost may be higher but it will be worth it. Just watch for specials. You don't have to pay full price if you shop around. As for the calculator, some colors may be discounted. You might also be able to get a used or certified refurbished model for a lower price. Don't hesitate to ask friends either. If their kids have moved on to a different grade with different needs they may have a gently used version that they would be happy to rehome. The same holds true for required reading materials. You'll pay a premium if you have to order the text online and get rush shipping to get it in time for class. If you can pick up a copy from a friend you'll save big bucks and avoid the stress of worrying that it won't arrive when you need it.

Pack It and Track It with a Simple Home Inventory System 

If you take our advice and stock up, how do you keep track of what you've already bought? That's easy. Use Stockpile! Stockpile makes it easy to keep track of school supplies whether they're stored in a single location or spread out throughout your home. As you buy items you can create item records in Stockpile simple home inventory system. Remember to be specific and add any detail that you think may be important. Don't just say notebook paper, make sure you note how many sheets are in the pack and whether it's wide ruled or college. Because Stockpile simple home inventory system is fully customizable you choose which fields to add to records. Thanks to areas and locations you can be very specific about where things are kept. Thanks to Stockpile it's easy to keep track of what you've got and where you're keeping it. Want to check your supply while you're standing in the store? You can do that with Stockpile simple home inventory system as well. It's easy to access item records on your favorite device. Want to see how we can save you time and money? Try Stockpile today!

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