Back to School Bargains?

It’s that time of year. Our kids are getting ready to go back to school. I think you can hear the collective excitement and annoyance from children everywhere.

My kids each got a postcard in the mail from their new teachers saying they were looking forward to having them in their class. It was very sweet.

What’s not sweet? The prospect of having to go out and buy school supplies.

In Alaska, those double-couple days don’t happen, like they do in the lower 48. There are deals to be had, but not as good as Outside. With two kids to shop for, and a list a couple of pages long, I’m wondering… what’s the best way to get a bargain?

I found a really helpful article from Great Schools that gave some tips, but I want to know your ideas too!


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. erin
    Aug 16, 2012 @ 13:06:46

    I only have one to buy for….so far, since he’s only in 2nd grade theres not too much he needs. Since money is tight he’ll use the same back pack as last year (I’ll get him a new one at PFD) I think this year I have to forego the teachers list (the things they ask you to buy for the teachers use) School clothes is the most expensive thing and as much as I don’t like a certian Big box store..they have good deals on jeans and sweat shirts. I too am always looking for a great deal.


    • Mom Land
      Aug 16, 2012 @ 13:16:21

      Erin, the backpack re-use is always good. My kids totally trashed their backpacks last year. 😦



      • erin
        Aug 16, 2012 @ 13:28:41

        Yeah his isn’t in the best shape, but still usable…IF I can find a good deal on a new one I may get a new one, but they want so much for them. 🙂

      • Mom Land
        Aug 16, 2012 @ 14:19:29

        I’m at Costco now. Saw backpacks the other day here for less than $10!

        Sent from my MOTOROLA ATRIX™ 2 on AT&T

  2. Ann
    Aug 17, 2012 @ 08:43:15

    I live in Wisconsin and there is no place around here that does double coupons anymore. The cheapest place to go as always is WalMart unless Kmart, Target or Walgreens is having a really good sale. Thankfully the schools down here don’t ask you to buy things that are for the teachers use. But I can tell you that the last year we were up there one of my kids teachers had a box full of parent bought supplies that were not only left over from that year but from previous years…. If you really can’t afford to buy those extras then don’t buy them. Think about it if all 25 kids brought in a 4 pack of dry erase markers that is 100 markers for one school year. There is no way they go through 100 markers in each class and I have always felt like they should be budgeting for that anyway.


    • Mom Land
      Aug 21, 2012 @ 21:40:25

      Ann, I have seen several deals out there – but the problem is, they’re all at different stores! One place, you can pick up a three ring binder for a dollar but a ream of paper is $4. The next place, the paper is 50 cents, but the binder is $6. So, unless you plan out your day of just driving around town for deals, you are kind of hosed. I guess it doesn’t matter, you’d still be burning up the gas either way. Ugh.


  3. MissLonewolf
    Aug 17, 2012 @ 08:51:53

    I have a 4th grade and an 8th grade kid, so I know how some of those back-to-school supply lists can really break a budget. If you can re-use a backpack, than do it. My daughter had a sturdy backpack from the GAP that held up for three years and she was fine re-using it. I’ve spoken to their teachers regarding everything on the supply lists and they usually don’t require to you buy everything on there. Usually just the crayons, glue, glue-sticks, markers, pensils, paper, binders–Basicly just the supplies your kid will actually use. As far as the ziplock baggies, bowls, paper plates, if you just buy only one of those items, the teacher is usually ok with it. I like to stock up on school supplies when they’re on sale in the fall time and keep them on hand. Through out the school year I hand out supplies like pensils, erasers and glue to my kids as they need them.


    • Mom Land
      Aug 21, 2012 @ 21:42:11

      Misslonewolf, I like the plan of mom divying up the extra supplies throughout the year. My fourth grade daughter’s desk was a nightmare last year. I couldn’t find anything in there, so I highly doubt she could! This year, her teacher has a very strict plan for the desk. I’m hoping that will help keep track of all those extra supplies!


  4. Jessica
    Aug 17, 2012 @ 11:07:50

    I bought JanSport backpacks a few years back for my kids. They were semi pricey ($30 or so at Fred Meyer, and the newest one was $25 this year at Target) but JanSport has a lifetime warranty (including zipper failure, our number one problem with inferior backpacks). I still have my JanSport backpack from when I was in school.


  5. Stephanie
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 21:56:33

    When I was in school, my parents just bought the basics for my brother and I, new clothes, paper, pencils, glue (for grade school of course). We weren’t rich but not poor either, I had the same backpack in grade school for a couple of years cause I wasn’t hard on mine. I did however go through a few backpacks in high school till I got one from LL Bean, I still have that backpack and it’s in great condition that’s 12 years and counting now. My mom is always asking me to bring it over for her to use when she goes on trips. I don’t have kids yet but when I do have them and they are school aged I’m just going to buy the basics and get them a nice sturdy backpack cause like everyone else has said they aren’t cheap.


    • Mom Land
      Aug 21, 2012 @ 21:44:47

      Stephanie, you and Jessica seem to have the same idea – buy a great backpack. My kids always seem to want the new cartoon character or whatever else is out there. My daughter wouldn’t even use her old princess backpack during summer camp this year, informing me she was, “Too old for princesses.”


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