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View Poll Results: How do you save money on back to school shopping?
I buy something whenever I see it on sale, no matter what time of year 18 42.86%
I stock up in the fall when all the supplies go on sale 22 52.38%
I buy as needed throughout the year, but only on sale items 6 14.29%
We take advantage of hand me downs whenever possible 13 30.95%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-05-2006, 08:23 AM
Amanda's Avatar
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Location: southeast Wisconsin
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Back to School - saving money

Ok guys, let's hear all the great ways that you save money on back to school shopping. Whether it be clothing, school supplies, books, software, whatever it is. Share your ideas and tips here!

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Old 08-05-2006, 09:59 AM
ellenmelon's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pennsylvania
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We found that shopping before the 3rd week of August gave us the best selection (saved time) and also had some pre-season sales and also take advantage of the end of season sales. DDs are going to the mall tonight to scope it out and I'll go with them in the next few days to make the purchases.

If you are a homeschooler or have a teaching certificate our Office Depot will give you a Star Teacher discount card and coupons. Same for Barnes and Noble. Only there you have to be actively teaching in a school system and not just hold the certificate.

We do a lot of hand me downs from aunts and nieces. That really helps. And the girls do some exchanges with friends.

One dd picks up lost and forgotten pencils and has a box full of them. The other dd recycles most of her notebooks and folders. This is after the big bonfire they have at the end of the school year for classes for which they will not want the notes again.

We shop throughout the year and try to get to the stores before the college students do. So we keep track of the return dates and move in weekends on campus and work around those.
Ellen in PA

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Old 08-05-2006, 10:04 AM
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Tax free shopping days

We braved the crowds at Wal-Mart this morning beginning at 7 a.m. to get all the supplies and clothing needed to start four granddaughters back to school. The state of Missouri tax is forgiven this weekend although city and county taxs were not in our locale. It all helps when you are buying for that many, however. The prices were very good, as is normal for Wal-Mart's Back-to-School Tax Free annual sale, the Associates in the clothing departments were incredibly helpful and although I wouldn't term it a fun time, it was a very worthwhile event. We then blow the savings by taking everyone out for breakfast! LOL Very few families with school-aged children are able to handle these expenses without some help, and we consider it a blessing to be part of this annual event. My only "point to ponder" ~ sounds better than calling it a complaint ~ is what does any second grader need with $44 worth of school supplies!!??

Ronsan (southwestern Missouri)
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:21 PM
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Location: Ohio
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I was able to get the "supplies" that were on my 5th graders list on sale ($.01, $.05, $.10, $.25) over a couple of weeks at Staples and used ink cartridges $3 coupons to pay for it. FIL had given me 3 cartridges and I had 2 that I redeemed. I picked up extra glue, crayons, markers, pencils, etc. to use at home and replace as needed through the school year. There is also a $30 supply fee to be paid when school starts.

For clothing we stopped at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago and found 5 pair of pants, 7 short sleeve shirts and about 10 long sleeve shirts for winter. I will keep an eye out for shoes to go on sale as she will need the next size tennis shoe before Christmas.

DD2 is pretty well set since I saved DD1's clothes and they always get clothes for Christmas.

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Old 08-05-2006, 01:04 PM
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We buy backpacks on clearance for 2o to 4:00 dollars apeice each year the regular price for these are 15:00 to 20.00 dollars apeice. we also get notebooks for any where from .50 cents to a dollar each.we stockpile on notebook paper and the 7o page spirals notebooks. We also go alot of package pencils for .02 cents a package. We get the floders with and without brads to save back. I also look out for clearance sale clothes& shoes. WE always buy on tax free weekend each year. Dd birthday is in Oct. so she gets clothes then and at christmas.
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Old 08-05-2006, 01:47 PM
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I wish that I would've bought my son a backpack when they went on sale last summer. I guess I can't complain that much though because that will be the only really big purchase that I'm making for him to start school.

We bought 2 notebooks, crayons, scissors and a pencil sharpener when these were on sale a couple of weeks ago. I bought a huge pack of glue sticks last year so he has a great start for this year---they go threw these like wildfire!! We have plenty of pencils that I received signing up for freebies. Grandma is sending him a new lunchbox like the one he had last year!

My Mom is so small that she buys little boys t-shirts when they are on sale. She wears a 12-14 (perfect for my son). Since is a clothes fanatic and gets tired of wearing the same things after just a few times. She is sending 5 shirts to my son--and he is just thrilled with this because he misses her so much.

I am going to hit GoodWill here soon to see if I can find him 3-4 pairs of jean shorts. The Goodwill stores here are nothing compared to the ones where I lived in Pa.

I'm also looking for a good deal on shoes.

Right before school, he will get a haircut--$8.00 is the cheapest cut I can find around here and the lady did a really nice job.

I dont know about everyone else but I am looking forward to school starting again!!

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Old 08-05-2006, 02:33 PM
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We have uniforms for all our schools here, which last for years at least 3, shirts are bought from school with a logo and the shorts anywhere, high school they are bought from school, ds1 is still wearing shirts from 3yrs ago but due to growth spurt they are getting short and will have to buy new ones for his last year next yr (gr12) but I have ds2 go into high school as ds1 leaves so the will be handed down, I love uniforms.
I only buy new stuff if the kids need it, I know some of thier friends just get new stuff as it the new year but if there is nothing wrong with what they have, shoes, backpack etc I don't replace it.
There are always back to school sales so I buy thier stuff then with an extra pkt of coloured pencils etc as they always go through rubbers, rulers, glue sticks and they are dearer to buy later, also they only tell you they need a new one as you're off to school and no shops open.
At high school we have a levy that includes all text books and printouts for the year, it is cheaper if you pay this within the first month of school to encourage early payment, so I always pay this to save my $15 other than that high school is rather cheap.

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Old 08-05-2006, 06:19 PM
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I really wish they would have uniforms for our kids here too--at least for the elementary and middle schools. It's hard to believe that it's not the schools that are really against it but rather the parents! We could save so much money that way.

My son actually loves the idea of uniforms. He likes that he would be dressing like his Dad and that he would always looked "dressed up" and not messy---he is not into the most recent trends of worn, dirty looking jeans and faded t-shirts. Jokingly he said that he would start his own fashion statement if I would buy him uniform clothes.

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Old 08-05-2006, 08:39 PM
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For the school supplies I watch the ads and get which are on sale. If they are identical the store I usually go to will price match. I also buy at the end of the year when they are clearancing out supplies. This way I can get backpacks and binders that are not normally real cheap before school.

We are in uniforms. Unfortunately they are brand new uniforms this year for a new school. You can not buy used ones anywhere. I bought dd one and her Grandmother bought another one. For DS she also bought him some new pants. Since they are blue or tan I can find those at yards sales, thrift stores or will look at end of the season.
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Old 08-06-2006, 05:32 AM
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I recycle whatever I can from the past year. I rarely buy a new lunch kit or back pack unless the old ones are broken. I reuse anything i can form the past year. I will stock up on pencils and a few other items when they go on sale. Shoes I got the other day for 3 dollars a pair due to summer clearout. Most of my clothes for Paige and jamie are second hand. i just bought a huge garbage bag full for 50 dollars and it was full of Gymboree clothes for Paige. Jamies birthday is next week so many family members get him clothes. Ryan is really the only one I have to buy a new wardrobe for, I shop wisely and can usually outfit him for 150 dollars for the year. Some of dads old sweatshirts and t-shirts are fitting him. and he is wearing the same size shoes as him. Even though the kids get hand me downs we let them buy one new outfit of their choice for the first days of school.

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