Despite being out of school for… let’s just say “a while” now, I still love stationary. I crave new pens. I hoard spiral bound notebooks. I have duo-tang folders in every colour. It’s no surprise, then, that I love back-to-school sales at all the big box stores. With loss-leaders designed to get you to drop your entire September budget, and more, you can win or lose in the equation. Make a list and be strong, mamas!
Even if you don’t have school-aged children to shop for, you might still want to run in for a few key supplies. There’s no rule that says you have to buy anything other than the super cheap stuff, so why not grab $2 and purchase these 3 items that will save you huge down the road. We’re talking way less than dollar store prices here, so take advantage!
80 page spiral notebooks / 100 page loose leaf, lined paper (Under $.10 per)
For children under 5, art is more practice than anything else. They may tear pages with high-pressured strokes, need 20 pages to get their name just right, or have more fun playing trash can basketball than actually colouring. This is the perfect time to grab some cheap paper for experimentation. Why not keep a few pages in the kitchen for spelling practice before dinner? Keep a notebook in the car for drawing on the road? Having paper handy is great for moms too; shopping lists, taking down a telephone message, writing directions… you’ll be glad you thought of it!
Crayons/ pencil crayons (Approximately $.50 per)
Although I almost always advocate no-name over brand, there are a few exceptions in which the quality is so noticeable; it’s worth the extra money. Crayons are one such item, and at back-to-school time, it’s brands like Crayola that offer those steep discounts to bilk buying retailers. I was able to get 2 packages of 24 Crayola crayons for $1 this year. Ideal, because if some don’t get lost, they’ll certainly get broken as my son learns how to hold them properly. I keep one pack for the diaper bag as a restaurant distraction, and a spare for the house.
Project folders/ duo-tangs (Under $.10 per)
This one might not seem as obvious to you, but stay with me. What project folders are, really, is large pieces of thick paper stock, folded in half. Of course, they are great for creating artist portfolios, for carrying letters to and from daycare, and other folder jobs, but think outside the box! Cut them into fun shapes to make Popsicle stick puppets! Place an assortment on the floor for a fun colour sorting game! Cut them in to ribbons to make paper chain garlands! You get the idea… the possibilities are endless.
Other finds to keep an eye for at this time of the year include:
- Backpacks – a much more convenient bag to travel with back and forth to day care, but very pricy if you’re looking in the winter.
- Snacks – this is a prime opportunity to buy puddings, crackers, and granola bars. Take advantage of coupons and price matching for extra savings!
Have you gotten a killer back-to-school deal? Got a great way to save for September? Let us know! Join the conversation on Facebook!