Everywhere you look, stores are advertising deals on all the back to school essentials – notebooks, pens, lunch boxes, backpacks, and of course, all the latest trendy fashions.  So the big question is - how can the average family afford back to school shopping? This series is designed to help families budget for back to school shopping, determine what their family truly needs, and shop in the most efficient manner possible.


Set your budget before you shop

It’s important to determine what your back to school budget is before you go shopping.  If you spend too much on one category of school supplies, it’s likely you won’t have enough money to finish purchasing what your children need.  Once you know how much you have to spend, you’ll be able to budget accordingly.


Check last year’s inventory

Before you make your back to school shopping list, check and see what you have left over from last school year.  Make a list of your current supplies so you know what you have to work with.  Shopping from your stock is always the least expensive option.


A sale is not always a bargain

It’s easy to talk yourself into needing something just because it’s on sale.  I mean, who doesn’t need index cards for $0.29 or notebooks for $0.15?  However, if you truly don’t need the item, then you are spending unnecessarily for the cost of the item as well as the time and gas money it takes to go purchase that item.


Determine what your family actually needs

This list will be unique for each family depending on whether they homeschool or send their children to school.  It will also depend on the age and grade level of your child.  If you have a list composed, then you will know what you do need once it goes on sale.


Shop gradually

The last point leads right into this one – shop little by little.  If you have a list already made, you’ll know exactly what your family needs.  This way, you can purchase the items when they go on sale.  Each week, the school supply deals vary from store to store.  By picking up a few items every week, you’ll be better able to budget for these expenditures and you’ll be able to purchase the items when they are on the best sale for the year.


Make sure the essentials are really essentials

The retail stores would happily have you believe that in order for your child to be a well-rounded student, they will need a backpack that has all the bells and whistles along with a coordinating lunchbox….all of which must match the theme of the notebooks, folders, and pens they will be carrying around on a a daily basis.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of supplies that kids do need for school.  However, there is a wide range between the latest craze in school supplies and your child’s basic school supply needs.

If there is something your child really wants and you can afford it, then make a compromise.  They can choose the fancy folders and notebooks, but they then need to pick up the basic pens, pencils, and markers.  This gives your child they ability to have a voice in what school supplies he or she uses without breaking your budget.

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Amazon has their Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes on sale for $10.59.  This book presents step-by-step instructions for building ten unique airplanes, and comes complete with 40 sheets of flight-tested, ready-to-fold paper, printed on both sides in a variety of colorful patterns.  Or if you have a Star Wars fan, you can also pick up the Klutz Star Wars Folded Flyers Book for $17.99 as well.

These items are eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping with a purchase of $35 or more.  Or, if you prefer, you can receive free Amazon Prime 2-Day shipping with a free trial of Amazon Prime.

It’s important to note that prices often fluctuate on Amazon, and this price may change at any time.  Please make sure you verify the price before placing your order.

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Free Colgate Bright Smiles Teacher’s Kit

by Katie on July 23, 2014

Colgate is once again offering teachers a free Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Kit for their classroom.  This kit includes Colgate kid’s toothbrushes and toothpaste samples for each child as well as a video, posters, storybooks, and a teaching curriculum.

If you’ve signed up for this offer in the past, you don’t need to sign up again.  Rather, they will automatically ship your kit to you.  Kits will be mailed out in February 2015.

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Long John Silver’s is offering customers free Fish & Fries on Saturday, August 2nd from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.  This offer is valid for dine-in or carryout customers, and there is no purchase necessary in order to receive this offer.

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Ulta: $3.50 Off $10 Purchase

by Katie on July 23, 2014

Ulta has released a new coupon for $3.50 off your purchase of $10 or more.  This coupon is valid through July 26th.

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Amazon has their Pocoyo & Friends Swiggle Traks Set on sale for $10.  This set typically retails for $29.99, and it includes the following features:

  • Flexible race track with many creative options for building
  • Motorized vehicle requires 2 AAA
  • Includes 4 tracks
  • Includes 1 moving bridge
  • Includes 1 Pocoyo motorized vehicle with music and 1 ball accessory

This item is also eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping with a purchase of $35 or more.  Or, if you prefer, you can receive free Amazon Prime 2-Day shipping with a free trial of Amazon Prime.

It’s important to note that prices often fluctuate on Amazon, and this price may change at any time.  Please make sure you verify the price before placing your order.

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CVS: Free Just the Basics Paper Towels

by Katie on July 23, 2014

You can pick up a free roll of Just the Basics Paper Towels at CVS this week:

Just the Basics Papers Towels (1 ct.), $0.79
$0.79/1 Just the Basics Paper Towels (CVS Coupon Kiosk)
FREE after ECBs

Be sure to check out all of this week’s CVS deals before you stop by your local store.

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$3.00 off Brilliant Basics™ Baby's First Blocks

There are several new coupons available to print this morning:

$1.00 off THREE Kellogg's cereals listed$1.00 off ONE Febreze Candle
$1.00 off ONE Febreze Fabric Refresher$1.00 off ONE Febreze Noticeables Refill
$3.00 off One (1) EcoTools Hair Brush$1.00 off any Glade Sense & Spray product
$2.00 off Rock-a-Stack Toy$3.00 off Brilliant Basics™ Corn Popper Toy
$1.00 off 3 Kellogg's Pop-Tarts toaster pastries$1.00 off two DINTY MOORE beef stew products
$1.00 off ONE Gillette Antiperspirant or Deodorant$0.75 off any one Nudges brand product
$1.00 off any TWO Shout products$1.00 off any TWO Windex products
$0.75 off any Windex Touch-Up Cleaner$1.00 off any TWO Pledge Furniture products
$0.50 off Scrubbing Bubbles All Purpose Cleaner$1.00 off Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel
$1.00 off SB Fresh Brush Starter Kit & Caddy$1.00 off any SB Bath Cleaning Product
$1.50 off any Pledge FloorCare product$1.00 off any TWO Shout Color Catcher products

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Arby’s: Free Jamocha Shake Today

by Katie on July 23, 2014

Just a reminder –  Arby’s is offering customers a free Jamocha Shake on Wednesday, July 23rd.  You can access a coupon for your free shake here.

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Amazon has their Pyrex Easy Grab 8-Piece Bake & Store Set on sale for $15.99.  This set comes with one 3-qt Oblong with a Blue Plastic Cover, one 8″ Square with a Blue Plastic Cover, and two 1-cup Storage Dishes with two Blue Plastic Covers, and it includes the following features:

  • Easy carry handles
  • Soft contours for easy cleaning
  • Contemporary design goes from oven to table
  • Easy Snap Lid allows access to handles while lid is attached
  • Non-porous glass won’t absorb stains or odors
  • Glass is pre-heated oven, microwave, freezer, refrigerator, and dishwasher safe
  • Limited 2-year warranty on oven bakeware
  • Limited 1-year warranty on plastic lids

This item is also eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping with a purchase of $35 or more.  Or, if you prefer, you can receive free Amazon Prime 2-Day shipping with a free trial of Amazon Prime.

It’s important to note that prices often fluctuate on Amazon, and this price may change at any time.  Please make sure you verify the price before placing your order.

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