Students heading back to grades K-12 this year will likely have a huge list of supplies that they will need to purchase, and in 2017 the spending on these items was estimated to top $27.3 billion, or $630.36 per child, according to The National Retail Federation. This is an increase of almost 10 percent over 2016's spending and is part of a more than 50 percent growth during the past decade.
To maximize a budget as much as possible, there are several easy ways to save on these back-to-school supplies and timing is essential, according to Forbes. It is recommended that specifically required models or brands of technology, like graphing calculators, are purchased early so that there is no chance of stores running out and having to pay extra. Supplies like pencils, paper, notebooks, and even laptops, meanwhile, typically go on sale at the end of August and into September so waiting could be worthwhile. Likewise, end-of-summer sales are a great time to pick up clothing that can be worn into the fall months in many parts of the country.
Many people prefer the convenience of shopping online, but many small items could lead to hefty shipping charges that can be avoided by heading to a traditional store. Although major office supply retailers will likely have all of the items on a school list, it could cost you $40 more compared to purchasing similar items at Wal-Mart or Target, according to Consumer Reports. They found the best deals on school supplies at Target while Wal-Mart had the best deals on clothing. Wherever you choose to shop, use a price comparison app on your smartphone so that you can see if a competitor is offering a better deal. Most major brick-and-mortar stores will price match to a lower cost which could allow you to find the best deals without leaving that store.