How does summer always fly by so fast? It seems like just yesterday kids everywhere were celebrating their newfound seasonal freedom. Now with back-to-school just around the corner, parents everywhere are tackling the dreaded supply list while trying to keep costs as low as possible.
Reducing costs is especially important this year, as a recent study indicated supply prices have increased by an average of 7.3 percent. Before you start your shopping, consider these five easy ways you can save money on school supplies.
1. Reuse & Recycle
Before you hit the stores or even search online, it’s smart to take inventory of what you have around the house. Gather all of the supplies from previous years to pick and choose what can still be used. Clearly crayon nubs and chewed-up pencils should find their way to the trash, but items like notebooks, backpacks and binders can be used again and again.
2. Order Ink Online
As the experts on all-things-ink, we couldn’t have a back-to-school blog without including it in the tips. This essential supply often causes headaches when cartridges come up empty the night before an important due date. Avoid the last-minute catastrophe altogether and order extra ink cartridges now. Start your search here to find the lowest prices for your model, and don’t forget to use the coupon code WILLY10 for an extra 10-percent off.
3. Carry Convenient Coupons
It’s sad the extreme couponers had to sully the good name of this classic money-saving strategy. Despite what they’d have you think, using coupons doesn’t have to take hours of clipping and careful planning. In fact, there are several mobile coupon apps that allow the cashier to scan the offer directly from your phone. These five coupon apps are some of the best to keep handy when shopping for school supplies.
4. Make a Trade
If you find yourself overflowing with notebooks and colored pencils, see if you can leverage the extras into the supplies you’re missing. Many other parents find themselves in the same predicament and are willing to swap their surplus. Organize a day to trade with other parents in the neighborhood and everyone will appreciate the additional savings.
5. Play the Waiting Game
As you cross items off of your supply list, hold off on buying optional items for the very end. Many times they won’t get used for an entire semester and will end up as money down the drain. Typically teachers give advance warning when optional items are needed, allowing you to order online or shop end-of-season clearance sales to find the best bargains.
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