The current economic climate may find fewer families contributing to classroom school supplies and state funding severely depleted this year. Less money per student will have teachers doing double duty when buying back to school supplies. They will shop for their own children and the children in their classes as well. Teachers launch school supply buying plans at the end of the previous school year and for good reason. With the steady decline in teacher salaries because of state and federal budget cuts, every penny spent must be worth the spending. Here are a few tips on saving big on school supplies.
- Inventory – If you didn’t inventory classroom supplies at the end of last year – stop by the classroom before shopping. Teachers often buy for the current year while leftover supplies from previous years keep piling up. For example, when buying pocket folders, make note of color. If you want blue pocket folders for writing – check to see how many you already have in the classroom. Taking an inventory will keep more money in your pocket – where it belongs!
- Needs versus wants – Shopping for back to school can be just as exciting for teachers as it is for students. The economic climate however, makes it important to focus on needs versus wants. That new calendar kit is appealing and you know it will look great in your classroom, but is there really anything wrong with the calendar kit you used last year? Hang on to your money – you’ll find more important classroom needs to spend it on throughout the year.
- Sales and coupons – Be sure to check the Sunday newspaper for sales and coupons. School sales usually begin about a month before the new school year starts. Before heading to the stores, search the Internet for additional “back to school printable coupons” – the money you save will be worth the time and effort!
- Shop online – Shopping online through a website such as www.mypoints.com, may save you money while you earn points on every dollar spent. You can use points on future purchases at a variety of establishments. Be sure to order from stores offering free shipping to add to your savings. Office Depot is a good example. Today’s ad via MyPoints shows 750 points for spending $50.00 to $99.99 plus free shipping. What a deal!
- Tax-free days – Take advantage of them! Tax free days in Florida are scheduled from August 3-5, 2012 (http://www.dor.myflorida.com/dor/). Interested in other states? Check http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/salesholiday.html
Get the most from back to school shopping by ensuring your hard-earned dollars are well spent! Happy shopping!