School Supplies: 5 Tips For A Cheaper Back To School
With inflation on the rise, back-to-school is more than ever about saving money. For all the families who need to watch their budget for school supplies and other expenses, here are 5 tips for a cheaper back-to-school season.
1- Reuse supplies
The first of the 5 tips for a cheaper back-to-school is of course to reuse school supplies from the previous year.
Before shopping online or at the supermarket, take stock of the school supplies you already have. Packages of sheets, pencils, pens and tubes of glue can still be used even if they have been started. As for opened notebooks, they can be recycled into scrap paper.
It is also easy to save money on supplies by cleaning and reusing last year's school kit or binder, provided of course that they are still in good condition.
To be noted: if your child absolutely wants to change his schoolbag, track down the collection operations organized each summer by the large distribution brands. For a limited time, these stores take back schoolbags and backpacks in good condition in exchange for a voucher valid in the stationery and school leather goods department.
2- Anticipate your purchases
The second tip for a cheaper back-to-school is to start school supply shopping during the summer. Not only will you sometimes find better prices during the summer months, but more importantly, you can avoid making a big one-time expenditure at the end of August.
It is estimated that the budget for school supplies is nearly €180 per child in first grade and over €400 per child in sixth grade. If you don't want to or can't shell out this amount all at once, think about spreading out the purchases over the summer!
Anticipating the purchase of supplies also allows you to compare prices, take advantage of possible promotions and avoid stock-outs.
3- Choose supplies that will last
Even if you have a limited budget for back-to-school, choosing first-price materials is not a good way to go back to school cheaper... Plastic school supplies like rulers and squares tend to break and first-price markers and pens don't last as long.
To avoid having to buy more supplies quickly, think about the lifespan of these materials and choose slightly higher quality products if possible.
Also favor refillable pens and mechanical pencils. Even if they are a little more expensive to buy, they will save you money in the long run.
4- Beware of unnecessary expenses
While buying items in sets may seem like a good idea, this 'deal' often leads consumers to buy more paper or pens than they need.
Another tip for a cheaper back-to-school experience is to instead only buy the bare necessities for when classes resume and supplement supplies (paper sheets, ink cartridges) as needed during the school year.
Also, if you buy school supplies online, beware of additional fees. The prices posted may be attractive, but don't forget about the sometimes high shipping costs that add to the bill!
5- Think about grouped and second-hand purchases
As in other areas, buying used school supplies is a good tip for a cheaper back-to-school. Note, for example, that the Emmaus stores organize sales dedicated to school supplies every summer.
You can also find new or very good condition equipment on ad websites such as Leboncoin and on the Beebs app specializing in used products for kids.
Finally, be aware that parent associations such as the FCPE and PEEP organize group purchases of supplies. You will be able to have at a competitive price supply kits by level, from primary to secondary.
By applying one or more of our 5 tips, back-to-school shopping should weigh less on the family budget.