10 Back To School Shopping Tips! {For Parents & Teachers!}

Hi friends!  Even before I had kids I would hit the back to school supply sales to stock up my own art room. Today I will share my money-saving tips to get your kids or classroom ready for the new school year!

Desk with school supplies. Studio shot on wooden background.

Watch the video to see what I recommend!

Top 10 tips!
1. Wait for the supply list from your teacher. There is no point buying things you don’t need or can’t use (no matter how good the deal is!)

2. Clear out old supplies first and determine what you have. You may still have plenty of pens, post it note and highlighters from last year that need to be used up. If you have old book bags and backpacks that you are not going to use this year but are still in great shape pass them along, same goes for outgrown sports equipment or winter gear. Those soccer cleats that no longer fit could be put to good use by another child!

3. Go refillable! My kids love mechanical pencils and you can get a few decent refillable pencils (I like these side advance ones from Dollar Tree and you get 4 for $1) and have them keep a box of refill leads in their pencil pouch to save space and trips to the store. These are the refill leads I buy. I also like to use these clear refill tapes in my desktop tape dispensers, they are very good quality.

4. If you want the best prices on consumables like glue sticks, crayons, markers and notebooks check out the back to school sales at Target, Walmart, Kmart and Staples. These “loss leaders” are designed to lure folks into the shop there but there is no law that you need to buy anything else if you don’t need it. I would stock up on these sales every year when I owned an art teaching studio.

5. Remember though that the Dollar Tree has the above items for a dollar every day so you can always “store it at the store” which might be more practical if you are just buying supplies for your own children.

6. If you need a large quantity of things like baskets and bins check out the Dollar Tree online. Our local dollar trees sell out of the good stuff quickly and they rarely have to cute colors that I see in haul and organization videos so if you are outfitting your classroom or craft room ordering the bulk supplies online will save you the hassle of going store to store in search of enough of one item.  *I think they might be out of the book bins online as I could not find them today but they were there last week 😦

7. Buy quality and buy it once! It is inconvenient to have to replace a backpack or binder halfway through the year and often times it would just be cheaper to but a quality item the first time around. I am a big fan of the zip up Case-It binders, they last really well and the one time the binder broke before that school year was done to company replaced it no questions asked. They earned my business that day! Just make sure to keep your receipt for warranty purposes or purchase it on Amazon like I did and you can access your receipt in the future if needed.

8. Make sure if you are buying a backpack that it fits everything you plan to carry. If you want to make sure it fits your binder and lunch box then bring it with you or measure it. Again, it is no bargain if it does not do the job you are buying it for.

9. Let kids pick out some supplies like binders, backpack and notebooks. They will be more excited for school if they get to choose! They can also customize their notebooks and binders with pattern duct & washi tapes and decorative paper. I used to LOVE turning old cardboard boxes and tubes into cute desktop stationary organisers and it is a fun project you can do with your child or hand over the supplies and let them go to town!

10. Find out what your kid’s classroom needs and grab a few extra if you can. Wet wipes, tissues and hand sanitizer and welcomed by most teachers who often end up purchasing these items out-of-pocket. I find the best deals on Clorox wipes are at Sams Club (there are so few in a tub of Dollar Tree wipes it is no bargain and you have the leftover tubes to recycle when done, they are a good size to keep in the car for travel clean up tho) and Amazon has the best deal on Lysol wipes. I don’t have a preference myself.

Do you have any tips to share? Let me know in the comments! If you enjoyed this blog post please consider pinning it on Pinterest or sharing it on your favorite social media! I;ll have a fun cardmaking tutorial fro you tomorrow, til then, happy crafting!

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon and Dollar Tree.