6 ways to save money on back-to-school items

Just like everything else these days - you can expect to pay more for some of the things you need and that means school supplies. Supply chain issues also mean stores may not have as much stock as in previous years. So, planning ahead is key when it comes to saving on what you need.

We have six ways to save money on your back-to-school shopping. “Coupon Contessa” Nora Kapche says there are a few things you should know before heading to the store.

#1 Download apps for favorite stores

6 ways you can save money on back-to-school items. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

The first thing you should do to prepare for back-to-school shopping is to get your phone loaded up. Download apps for your favorite stores like Target, Walmart, and Kohls.

“You can use it to get secret deals all the time that are offered on their app,” Kapche explains. “They offer cash back or maybe a gift card, if you purchase $30 worth of beauty items, you could get a $5 gift card to go with that for your next purchase.”

#2 Go to brand websites to search for coupons

The next step for saving money is to go to the websites of your favorite brands like Sharpie, Crayola and Papermate. Sign up for emails or a newsletter to get the deals they are offering.

“You will either find a discount percentage or a manufacturer’s coupon and then you can stack those with the sales that are going on in-store,” said Kapche.

#3 Plan the best day to shop

6 ways you can save money on back-to-school items. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Kapche says in general, the best day to go into the store to shop for sale items is Sunday. That’s the day most stores start the weekly sale deals.

“See, most stores have limited supplies of these great deals. So once they run out, it’s pretty much gone. So if you go on Sunday, that means that hopefully, they’ll have it already in stock on their shelves,” said Kapche.

If your backup plan is to ask for a raincheck if the store is out of the item, you may be out of luck. More often this year, stores only offer deals for the items they have in stock on the shelves.

#4 Price compare and ask for price adjustment

6 ways you can save money on back-to-school items. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Kapche says no matter what store you are in you should check for a better price. Use the Amazon app to scan the barcode of the item to check for the best prices. Most stores will price match according to the cheapest price you can find online.

“You can price match with that for different stores because you just have to have proof of what another store is selling it for,” said Kapche.

#5 Use gift cards to shop at your favorite stores

Consider buying gift cards online and use the cards to shop for back-to-school essentials. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Consider buying discount gift cards for stores and using those to shop for back-to-school items. Websites like Raise and Card Cash allow you to buy and sell gift cards. Most of the time on those websites, the price you pay will be less than the amount on the card. For example, a $50 Target gift card for $45.

#6 Buy items second hand

To save money on school electronics, consider buying secondhand at websites like Swappa, Amazon and more. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

You probably know you can find name brands at thrift stores around town. But consider shopping around for used expensive electronics. You can find secondhand electronics at places like Swappa, Best Buy and Amazon Renew. Just make sure it has a warranty. You can also find used electronics at places like Goodwill, but you won’t get a warranty on those items.

Other ideas for saving money on school essentials

  • Buy in bulk and split with others
  • Ask the store if they offer a student discount
  • Check grocery stores or drug stores for school supply sales

Do you have secret savings tips you’d like to share with our team? We know sometimes YOU have the best ideas when it comes to saving money for your family.

Email Amy Davis at adavis@kprc.com or producer Andrea Slaydon at aslaydon@kprc.com with your money-saving ideas. We might feature your idea!


About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.