Cue the “Kids these days!” rant… No, but seriously, kids these days. They don’t know how lucky they are.
There was a time when mom would load up the entire family into the back of the minivan in search of bulk 1 inch binders in bulk and highlighters and lunchboxes and spiral notebook graph paper for your sister starting Advanced Geometry and cheap mailers and… Now, there’s an app for that. We don’t know what exactly “that” is, but we’re pretty sure there’s an app for it.
So how do you save money on back to school shopping, whether you do it online or at the local office supply store? Simple, you familiarize yourself with this list:
1. Beware Hidden Shipping Fees!
Many a tech-obsessed parent has bragged about the money they save by tracking down online retailers with 3 ring binders bulk prices. Meanwhile, they’re paying an extra $30 in shipping and handling (meanwhile, that retailer is wasting money paying shipping and handling on the cheap mailers they also order online).
If you buy back to school supplies online, or even office supplies like cheap mailers, then don’t just compare the checkout price, compare shipping costs as well. Plus, if you can buy all your supplies from a single online retailer, then you can cut down on multiple shipping fees.
2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Make sure your kids understand the importance of saving money on school supplies. If you find out they’re filling up the pages of their notebooks with doodles of their teachers getting eaten by dragons, then tell them they’ll have to buy their own notebooks if they keep wasting paper!
Also, many school districts have supply drives for families who can’t afford to purchase their kids necessary items like binders and notebooks. If you need to, take advantage of these programs. And if not, consider donating extra back to school supplies.
3. As Your Kids Grow Up, Ask Them To Chip In
Young kids obviously don’t have a way to buy their own back to school supplies (thanks a lot, child labor laws); however, as kids reach high school, tell them it’s time to start chipping in for the cost of school supplies. This will also help prepare them for college and the real world, where they’ll have to provide necessities for themselves.
Bonus: Don’t Throw Away Your Money At The Store!
Moms and dads aren’t the only ones spending extra cash on school and office supplies. If you’re one of the many Americans moonlights as a DIY crafter or auctioneer on sites like eBay and Etsy, then you could increase your profits by rethinking your delivery methods.
If you’re still heading to the office supply store once a month, then you’re bottom line will suffer. Instead, take a page from the thrifty mom playbook and buy cheap mailers online. Buying bubble envelopes wholesale will ultimately save you money, even if it’s just 50 cents every time you send out a package.