School supplies are expensive – even when you buy them on sale. It all adds up so quickly, notebooks, pens, calculators, computers, the books themselves (for college ages). Here are five quick tips that show you how to save money on school supplies.
1) Shop Online – Those expensive graphing calculators shouldn’t terrify you. A quick visit to Amazon.ca and you can find both new and used graphing calculators for a fraction of the in-store cost.
2) Buy in bulk – If you know you are going to need 5 – 10 notebooks, but one bulk pack rather than the individual decorative ones. The same goes for pens, markers, crayons and highlighters. These types of things also make excellent holiday gifts for teachers, so if you purchase more than your child can use save them up and give them as appreciation gifts.
3) Shop with a friend – Grab a friend and shop together to realize huge savings. You can combine this with buying in bulk, split the cost and you will both come out ahead.
4) Recycle old supplies – It’s not easy to talk our little ones into using last year’s supplies but it does make good financial sense. Rip the used pages out of their notebooks, sharpen up those old pencils, and dust off the old backpack. If you have workable items in good condition then re-buying them is just money down the drain. If your kids are completely resistant to the idea, try compromising with them. Allow them to get one decorative notebook or binder, in exchange for using the old ones for everything else, or offer them ½ the savings as a bonus allowance – that should motivate them!
5) Buy used textbooks – In addition to having the graphing calculators cheap, Amazon.ca also has the best price around on used textbooks. They are also currently (as of 2010) offering free two-day shipping for college students.
6) Get your kids involved – Give your kids a budget for school supplies and take them shopping with you. If they know they only have $30 for pens, notebooks and the like, that $15 fancy binder may seem a little less important. You’ll save money, but more importantly, you’ll be teaching your kids about budgeting.
BONUS: Mogo Savings Alert Centre – Check out this recent*savings alert*at our very own Savings Alert Centre!