By Indi Rooney
Getting your kids ready for school can be stressful – and expensive. Basic school supplies, such as pens and notebooks, can hit the family budget for $125 or more each fall. Throw in computers and smartphones and the cost really leaves a mark.
Here are some handy tips, from the team at NPP, to help you save money – and maybe even your sanity – as you finish your back to school shopping.
Take Inventory of What You Already Have
You might have some extras left over from last year stashed in that closet or junk drawer. That’s one less thing to buy!
It’s easier to stick to a budget – and your list – when you shop online. Plus, you’ll save time and gas by not having to run from store to store.
Spread Out Your Shopping
Start sooner. Like last spring (haha). Or, now. Now is good. This allows you to take your time and give yourself plenty of runway to shop for the best deals.
Keep Your Shopping List in Multiple Places
Take a picture of the list on your phone. Pin that school email to the top of your inbox. Stash the handout in your glove box. The idea is that you have the list at all times and you can reference it when you come across a sale.
Shop During Sales Tax Holidays
If you’re lucky enough to live in a state that has sales tax holidays (which usually happen over a weekend when the state suspends sales tax on certain items), take advantage of these days to shop.
Keep Quality in Mind
Invest in good backpacks and lunch bags. It might be tempting to skimp, but lesser quality goods might not last the full school year and then you’ll have to re-buy them mid-year – which doesn’t save time or money.
Determine When to Buy Generic or Store Brands
Sometimes the quality is the same or close. However, some teachers request specific brands because they outperform the generics. Trust the experts.
Shop Through Sites that Offer Discounts
Ahem. We’re just saying, NPP offers discounts on thousands of office supplies for your business. In some cases, you can also pass those savings along to employees, so everyone wins!
Buy Items in Bulk with Friends
HEY! Just like NPP! We pool the buying power of our members to get discounts on goods you purchase every day! But, back to you. Paper, pens and notebooks are great items to buy in bulk. Go in with your friends and neighbors and divvy up those multi-packs.
We hope these tips help you get ready for the busy school year ahead. If you don’t finish all your shopping, or if you can wait until after school starts for some of your purchases, you may save even more in September. Keep an eye out for those “We’re Already Back in School” sales. Okay, maybe that’s not a thing, but prices often drop once the rush is over. Stay alert. Stay savvy. Stay golden. But, most importantly… save.
About National Purchasing Partners (NPP)
NPP is a trusted savings provider for businesses and their employees. By leveraging the purchasing power of more than 300,000 members, NPP can provide top discounts and special pricing to businesses of all sizes. Membership is free. NPP is owned by non-profit hospitals and a substantial portion of NPP proceeds goes to support medical research at Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) in Seattle, WA.