You know how some folks love the holidays? That’s how I feel about the back-to-school season. Being an avid lover of all things school supplies, as a parent, I’ve had to learn to set some parameters for myself, or I’d end up buying the whole store.
Not that it would be a bad thing to have a stockpile of No. 2 pencils, multicolored paper clips, Sharpies in every color, and a selection of fashionable lunch bags, it’s just not reasonable. Since I’m also shelling out sports fees, payments for field trips, and new school clothes, as much as I want to, I can’t go crazy in Staples.
Now that I’ve been in the back-to-school game for a few seasons, I have some hacks that allow me to save time and money while making sure my daughter has everything she needs for a great school year.
1. Take Stock, Kiddos
Before you even step out of the house to go back-to-school shopping, go through the supplies your kids have from the year before. Naturally there will be plenty of items that need to be replenished, or that they didn’t use in their previous grade that you’ll need to pick up. If you can save a little bit because they already have highlighters or a calculator, why wouldn’t you? And you know what? Treat yourself to a coffee with some of the money you save for being so smart in the first place!
2. Find Your List, Check It Twice
Don’t make the mistake I made when my kid first started school and get so excited that you buy tons of school supplies you don’t even need. I don’t want to tell you how many (checks garage) adorable erasers and scented markers I purchased because they were just so cute. Check out the Teacher’s supply lists that are conveniently available at your local Staples store and only spend money on what you absolutely need. Well, and maybe ONE cat-shaped eraser that you just can’t resist.
3. Go for the All-in-One Approach
Yeah, you could drive around from store to store trying to catch the best deal of the day, but why do that when you can just go to Staples. I know it’s human nature to make things more complicated than they need to be, but school supplies? Staples’ back-to-school In-stock guarantee means they’ll have everything on everyone’s list — including teachers. Want to save time? Need to save money? Instead of wasting gas chasing down sales, go to the store where you can do both.
4. Bulk, Bulk, Baby
School supplies are at their very lowest price during the back-to-school season. You know your kiddo is going to run out of pencils by the second week of school. STOCK UP. Don’t be afraid to go bulk on items you know they’re going to need all year long while the price is right.
5. A Nickel Spent Is a Nickel Earned
None of this back-to-school stuff would be possible without the teachers. Help them start off the year on a positive note by sharing information about Staples’ Classroom Rewards program. When teachers enroll, they get a $5 reward, just for signing up. After that, they become eligible to earn 5% back in rewards on all of your purchases between May 19 and September 15, when you enter your receipt information on their website. Can you think of a better way to stretch a dollar than to have it go right back into your kid’s classroom?
6. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
When you head out for back-to-school shopping, it might be tempting to leave the kids at home and do it all yourself. It might feel like it saves you time, but in the long run, you’ll end up paying for that solo trip. Bring your student along, and let them help you find all of the items on the list. It will help them to connect with the school supplies and remember that they have extra pencils and paper when they run out halfway through the year because they were there when you bought it.
7. Join the Party
Keep your eyes open for Staples Block Parties where you can take advantage of deals, giveaways, and just have a good time instead of feeling stressed about supplies shopping.
8. Remember the Magic
Honestly, my biggest hack for saving time and money on school supplies is keeping in mind how amazing it is that your child gets to go off and have another year of learning and discovery. Every item on your back-to-school shopping list is going to play a part in helping your kid become smarter and more mature. When you look at it that way, those pens, laptop, spiral notebooks, and folders seem pretty magical, right? It’s because they are. And so is that awesome kid who’ll be carrying them into the classroom for a brand- new, going-to-be-awesome school year!
Staples creates stronger classrooms and closer communities by building meaningful connections between parents, teachers, and their children. Back-to-school shopping sets everyone up for a successful year and with Staples’ selection, they can continue to serve as a resource all year long.