How to Find the Best Back-to-School Bargains

School is upon us again, and we are all faced with the annual task of getting the supplies on our children’s back-to-school lists. From paper to pencils to entire wardrobes, our main challenge is finding it all at a reasonable price. Here are a few ideas to help you get your back-to-school shopping completed with as little money spent as possible.

The featured image is Amazon’s 1st and 2nd Grade Back to School Pack which retails for $27.99. How convenient is that?? It’s super handy if your church or local charity is collecting school supplies as well. Get it HERE. This is an affiliate link meaning that if you click on it and make a purchase, I earn a small commission. You are under no obligation to do so. But know that if you do, you are supporting a stay at home mom and her hard working family. Thank you!


Big Box Stores

I know, I know, back-to-school shopping at Target or Walmart the weekend before school starts is enough to send any parent into a stuffy, hot, crazy crowd-induced panic attack. This was always my very least favorite day of the entire school year (thank God we’re in middle and high school now—no more crayons or glue sticks!). But when it comes to affordable back-to-school supplies, big box stores can’t be beat. It’s nice to have a one-stop-shop where you can buy practically everything on your child’s list for a great price. Just be sure to have an anti-anxiety pill (or a stiff shot of scotch) on hand (kidding!).


Dollar Stores

Dollar stores used to have cheap products that didn’t always work properly. Now, many dollar stores sell exactly the same merchandise that is sold in other stores, only for less money. It’s true! From tuna to Snickers to your favorite ball point pen, dollar stores have stepped up their game. I use the dollar store for everything from party supplies to crafting to snacks to fillings for care packages I send to soldiers overseas…even for some of my Christmas shopping. Shop around, since dollar stores are similar to other stores in the sense that some are better than others, and you may have to go to a few to find exactly what you are looking for.


Thrift Stores

Used clothing and items no longer have a stigma attached to them. In fact, they’re all the rage. Why was spending way too much money ever a thing? Not to mention, no one needs to know that your child’s adorable jacket or designer shoes were previously loved. Try out this widely-used secret if you want your child’s clothing and items to be one-of-a-kind, and not just something that everyone else will be wearing or using. My favorite thrift store is ARC. It’s a great cause AND almost everything in the store is 50% off on Saturdays. Bonus!


Free Apps

Apps are a great addition to your child’s back-to-school purchases, and there are many new ones that can make you and your child’s lives easier. Instead of purchasing a bunch of fancy apps for your child’s smartphone, though, try out the free ones. From homework helpers, to calendars, to fancy calculators, your child’s smartphone can be loaded with the newest and best apps for nothing, or next to nothing. Just for fun, check out the new Simon’s Cat game, Crunch Time! Available on Google Play, App Store and Amazon.


Online Shopping

If you’ve read my blog for like five seconds you know I’m a huge fan of Amazon and particularly Amazon Prime. Back in the day (like two years ago even), shopping for school supplies was a horrendous nightmare at Amazon. I tried and could not do it and ended up in the mosh pit of hell that is Walmart at back-to-school weekend. All of that has changed with Amazon’s new back-to-school section. It is now possible to do all your back-to-school shopping from home. You can purchase everything online – from clothing, to notebooks, to pens and pencils, to glitter glue… and even have it delivered right to your door. Other online sites such as eBay, Office Depot, and are also a great start in your search, and there are many more that carry various items.


Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to completely drain your wallet of money. There are many different places to find all the items your child needs. The competition is fierce, and this works in your favor. Get your shopping started now and they will be ready on the first day of school with all your bargains, ready to do their job.

How do you save money back-to-school shopping? Is this a fun time of year, or a real headache like it was for me when my kids were little? What special finds have you been able to dig up at your favorite thrift or bargain store? Let us know all about it in the comments below!