Monthly Retail Sales Statistics Dip In JulyBeing a poor college student I don't have a lot of money to spend on school supplies or other necessities for the school year. So over time I figured out ways to save a lot of money shopping for supplies, mostly by looking at what I think I need, and what I actually need before filling up my cart. Here are some tips if you have any kids going to elementary and/or middle school this year.

Let's start off with paper. Unless schools specify what students need notebooks for, like certain notebooks for certain subjects, you don't need a lot of them. My way of saving money on paper is by buy three-subject notebooks so you have notes to take for multiple classes and not have extra sheets by the end of a trimester, quarter, semester etc. Also if you buy perforated notebooks you don't need to buy loose sheets of notebook paper to put in binders; your kids can just tear pages out and unless they do A LOT of doodling, they're probably not going to run out of space.

A lot of parents have to battle with their kids every year about getting mechanical pencils. For kids, I say they're not worth it. They lose or lend out them out until they're out of pencils so parents end up having to buy more. It doesn't matter if it's a Ticonderoga or a mechanical, it'll happen. Wooden pencils are a lot cheaper and moms and dads don't have to buy more lead if their kids actually hang on to them.

Getting a sturdy backpack is the way to go. I know good backpacks can be expensive but cheap backpacks can break within a year and you'll just have to buy another one. I'm in my third year of college and I still have my Jansport backpack from when I was in the fifth grade. It's one less thing I have to worry about each year.

THINGS YOU DON'T NEED: stapler, tape, thumb tacks or push pins, paper clips, post-it notes- teachers usually have all of these so parents don't really need them

THINGS YOU DO NEED: hand sanitizer, pocket tissues- it's really easy for kids to get sick so just by getting a small bottle of hand sanitizer and tissues that they can stick in their pockets or lockers or desks, then it prevents them from getting sick and missing a lot of school.


Tomorrow I'll be talking about more ways to save money on the Morning Show with Cefus and Tom and I'll post some ideas for school shopping for high school students and dorm shopping for college students. Let me know if you have some ideas of your own or if you have any other questions about saving money school shopping!