Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to School: Where to find cheap supplies

School supplies can be costly, especially if you wait until the last minute to fulfill the necessary back-to-school supply list. Many times, teachers will send home the school supply list at the end of the previous school year so you can purchase them early. If you had a chance to stock up the previous year, go through your school supply bin and start checking items off of your list. If you are starting from scratch, stick to your list and start perusing the weekly store ads for deals.
Use coupons found on Facebook, from store websites, phone apps and in the newspapers to help lower the cost of supplies, sometimes even making them free!
Many brands and companies will offer coupons or free samples around the back-to-school time on their Facebook pages. You should head over to Facebook and start searching for brand names that specialize in school supplies, such as Bic, Crayola, and Mead to name a few, and like their pages to see if they have any special offers available.
Stores also have great deals in the months leading up to school. Staples, Target, Office Max, and Wal-mart all have great school supply deals.


There are few ways to save at Staples:
  1. Sign up for their free Staples Rewards program.
  2. Purchase a Back-to-School savings pass.
  3. Sign up to receive their store e-mails for coupon offers.
The Staples Rewards program is free to sign up, and you will receive a card to scan each time you make a purchase. You will receive 5% off of your purchases, plus free shipping at when you use your Staples Rewards card.
Staples offers a Back to School savings pass, it costs $10 and when you purchase the pass you will save 15% on school supplies all season long. You can use the pass once per day through a specified date, usually in mid-September.
Staples also have services where you can sign up to receive an e-mail with the current coupons, deals and events.
Staples also offers an easy rebate program, there are times when the weekly ad will show an item you can receive for free after the easy rebate. The rebate program is user friendly and you can either choose to be paid by paper check or via PayPal.
Staples also has printable coupons on their website and you can find deals on Twitter using hashtag #StaplesHasIt and also keep an eye out for their penny deals! Many times they have school supplies for $.01 with a $5 minimum purchase, so definitely check out their weekly ads for those great deals.


Target also offers a few ways to save on school supplies:
  1.  Print coupons from to use in store on supplies.
  2. Register for a free Target REDcard and you will receive coupons in the mail as well as 5% off of purchases.
  3. If you have a smartphone, download the Target Cartwheel app to save even more.
  4. Text for mobile coupons!
Target has a coupons section on their website, it works best with Firefox web browser, and you can select coupons to print from your computer. Target coupons can be used in conjunction with a manufacturer coupon for even more savings. Click on the “back to school” tab on the coupon page and you can print school related coupons that are available.
Target REDcard is considered a debit card and is linked to your checking account. Every time you use your REDcard you will save an additional 5% off of your total purchase. This is on top of all of the mobile and paper coupons.
Target has a new smartphone app, called Cartwheel, and you add offers to your cartwheel so you can show the cashier at checkout and receive a discount. The discount is on top of Target coupons and manufacturer coupons you have!
If you have a cell phone, Target also offers mobile coupons via text. Text COUPONS to 827438 (TARGET) to receive mobile coupon offers. Standard texting rates do apply.
Combine the printable Target coupons, with Cartwheel discounts, manufacturer’s coupons and using the Target REDcard to save 5% and you can get school supplies really cheap, if not free!

Office Max

Office Max offers a newsletter that has discounts and coupons sent to your inbox. MaxPerks is the free account card through OfficeMax where you earn 5% cash back as well as receive exclusive coupons and deals to use in store and online. MaxPerks also offers weekly deals where you may be able to earn items for free by receiving the amount via MaxPerk rewards.
If you are using the MaxPerks card to receive exclusive deals and offers, as well as 5% cash back in rewards, purchasing school supplies may be really cheap.


Wal-Mart has an extensive back to school area as well and they also offer great deals online. Sign up for Wal-mart e-mails to receive discounts, free sample alerts and more! With Wal-Mart’s low prices and manufacturer’s coupons, school supplies can be really cheap, if not free, at times.
Wal-mart also has a credit card and the current promotion is to receive $20 when you open a credit card and spend $100. School supplies + school clothes and accessories could add up to $100, and if so, opening a Wal-mart credit card may be worth the extra savings.
School supply shopping starts with a list, get the list early and pick up items as they may be at their rock bottom price. That way you avoid paying full price in the end, and, if you utilize the great reward cards, coupons, and apps, you will save money and potentially stock up for the following year!

Nikki Muroski is a mommy of three, a wife and a blogger for her site, Nickel-and-Diming with Nikki. She is also a regular contributor to the CareOne Debt Relief Services blog, a community that provides debt consolidation and money-saving advice.

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