Here are some tips for saving money on your back-to-school needs:
1) Know what you already have. Designate a storage bin or box and go through your house, placing everything in the container that could potentially be used for school. Pencils, pens, paper, rulers, glue sticks, crayons, paper clips, folders, binders, etc., should be gathered together in one place so that you may determine what you actually need to go out and buy. We can also call this process “getting organized.” And by the way, it is the most effective way to save money in most areas of your life.
2) Stick to your budget. This may sound like common sense, but we all succumb to tricky marketing and impulse buys, especially when our children are along for the trip. If you can, leave the kids at home. If you must bring them, this is a fine time to teach them about finances. Let them be aware of the budget and explain to them that if they absolutely must have the expensive lunch box, they will have to settle for the cheaper binder.
3) Hold out for the best deals. Buy only what you will need for the first 3-5 weeks of school, and wait to stock up after school begins, when the stores mark everything down. Then, buy enough supplies to last through the end of the school year.
4) Host a clothing swap. Get together with friends to trade clothing and other school gear. This is a great way to socialize, score free stuff and clean out your closets, all at the same time.
5) Start scouting the second-hand stores and yard sales now, so you will have to buy new as little as possible. and are great places to start.
Other places to shop for supplies in Athens:
This locally-owned store has supplies for kids and teachers, too. Learning materials, children’s books, classroom furnishings, arts and crafts and much more are available. If you are home-schooling, this is a great place to check out!
A cool, locally owned store offering non-toxic arts and crafts and other learning materials.
A locally owned camping/outdoors supply store that carries high-quality shoes, clothing, backpacks and more.
This Athens-based web business is a great place to find reusable, stainless steel food containers for your child’s lunch. You may order online and request local pick-up.
Get your basic supplies at Target for super cheap. They have crayons, pens, pencils and more for as low as .20 each. You can find lists of required materials for each school in Athens-Clarke and surrounding counties right next to the school supplies in the back of the store.
Stock up on school uniforms, clothing basics, accessories, lunch boxes and stainless steel canteens.
This store has the largest selection in town of school uniforms, backpacks, lunch boxes, shoes and other accessories.
L.L.Bean, Land’s End, and REI all offer high-quality uniforms and backpacks with a warranty, so if something breaks before the school year is over, it can be replaced for free.