Guest post: Back-To-School Shopping for Less

Pilar Villacis is a stay-at-home mommy, and savvy shopper who loves to find great bargains. She shares money saving tips and frugal finds on her blog,

It hasn’t been a month since kids finished the school year. We are just starting to enjoy summer, yet back-to-school sales are everywhere. Sometimes shopping for supplies and clothing your children will need before they begin a new year can take a toll on your budget, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are some tips to help you save some money and shop back-to-school things for less.

Look for what you already have: Sort through last year supplies and gear to find out what can be reused. Cross out from your list the items you found out you have to avoid buying too much.

Stick to a list and keep it handy: Schools usually provide a supply list. Stick to it! Most teachers will include in the list everything your child will need during the school-year. If you don’t have a list yet, start stocking up on basics such as pencils, erasers, sharpeners, crayons, etc. until you get one. Keep your list in your purse, in your car, or even in your phone. Make sure you have the list with all the time, so you to take advantage of any promotion and cross out every item after you purchase it.

Start shopping early: Most of the back-to-school bargains start during the month of July. Don’t buy everything you need in just one trip. Take advantage of sales and promotions as they are offered. Many stores and drugstores hold a lot of sales and special discounts weekly. Shop around for competitive prices.

Look out for coupons and rewards programs: Search for coupons that can give you greater discounts. You can find them on Sunday’s newspaper, or online. Sign up for drugstores rewards programs that can help you save.

  • CVS offers Extra Bucks that you get back after purchasing specially advertised items, and you can use on your next purchase.
  • Sign up for Rite-Aid rewards, and get Single-Check-Rebates valid on your next shopping trip.
  • Walgreens will give you Register Rewards that will print during checkout, no need to sign up.

Splurge in a good backpack: Last year, my then-fourth-grader-daughter wanted a Hannah Montana backpack, and I decided to buy her one since they were offered at a low price in one major store. What a mistake! By December, the inner pockets’ seams were ripping, followed by the shoulder straps. Needless to say, I had to buy her a new backpack just a couple of months after the school year started. After that I got her a name brand one that was a little more expensive, but it was surely going to last.

Take advantage of Sales Tax Holidays: Some states offer tax-free dates that you can take advantage from when shopping for big-ticket items. Find out if your state is participating, the dates, and the items that are included.

Some great deals I see this week are:


$0.50 Deals

Pencil Box

Pencil Pouch

Book Cover (jumbo or standard size)

RoseArt Washable Watercolors, 8-ct.

PaperMate Eagle Pens, 12-ct.

$1 Deals

Mead 1-subject notebooks

Sharpie fine or ultra-fine tip markers, 2-ct.

Elmer’s Washable Glue Sticks, 6-pk.


$0.25 Deals

Elmer’s Glue

Staples manual pencil sharpener

Staples cap erasers, 12-pk.

Bic Matic Grip mechanical pencils, 5-pk.

Staples 3”x5” white ruled index cards, 100-pk.

Assorted slider pencil cases

2-For-$3 Deals

3-Pack Expo Click Low Order Retractable Markers

Avery Glue Sticks 3-pk.

Staples Rubber Grip 1-Hole Punch

Ticonderoga #2 Pencils 24-pk.

Staples Invisible Tape, 3/4″ x 50 yards 3-pk.

Pilot Frixion Erasable Highlighters 3-pk.

Westcott 5″ Scissors 2-pk.

Assorted Staples Mini Stapler


$0.15 Deals

70-Sheet Notebook

2-Pocket Folder

$0.25 Deals

Elmer’s Washable Glue Sticks, 2-pk.

Elmer’s Washable Glue, 4oz.

Crayola Crayons, 24-pk.

$0.50 Deals

Trapper 70-Sheet Notebook

Trapper Folder

$1 Deals

Dixon Woodcase Pencils, 24-ct.

Crayola Colored Pencils, 12-ct.

Crayola Markers, 10-ct.

Bic Cristal Pens, 10-pk.

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