12 Tips To Save Money On Back To School Supplies

Back to school season is officially here!

A little flashback to the first day of kindergarten for my oldest:

First day of kindergarten


I remember the excitement of picking out her first day of school clothes and packing up all her back to school supplies in her gigantic backpack the night before. Then we woke up early so I could make sure I snapped a couple shots of her first day of school. I wasn’t too camera savvy, – and apparently, I loved adding borders to my pictures – but I was a pretty proud mom.

Fast forward 5 years, and here we are in July with back to school on my mind.

If you asked me 5 years ago about a back to school budget, I would have probably replied with; ‘Who cares? It’s my baby’s first day of school!’ Fast-forward to the present and 3 more kids later; and let’s just say my back to school supplies budget matters a lot more to me now.

I’ve learned a few tricks over the years on how to get the most of my back to school supplies budget.

Back to school shopping season has officially begun. Check out these 12 tips to save money on back to school supplies this year. #BackToSchool #BackToSchoolSupplies #Shopping #Money #SaveMoney

12 Back To School Tips To Save Money On Supplies

RELATED: How To Use Unit Pricing To Save Money

  1. Take Inventory Of Supplies You Already Have At Home: Raid your craft box and office for back to school supplies you already have at home.
  2. Shop Online: Before back to school shopping meant dragging all the kids to the store. Nowadays you can get the same – or better- deals shopping online. Sign up for your favourite store’s newsletters for coupons and sale notices. A lot of companies even offer free shipping online. Hello Amazon Prime!
  3. Don’t Buy From The Store’s Lists: You know those huge lists of school supplies for every grade at the front of every store’s back to school isles? Skip that list. Instead, call your school and ask what your child needs. Or ask around in your local parent Facebook groups. I bet you will find that your back to school supplies list if shorter then you expected.
  4. Make A List: A list will help you to stay focused in the store and avoid those costly impulse buys. After I make my list, I usually take a picture of my list with my phone. That way if I forget my list (pretty common with me), I at least have that picture to fall back on.
  5. Shop The Sales: When your out at your regular shopping stops, check out their sale tables. Often stores will have back to school items on sale without advertising it.
  6. Price Match: Price matching is when a store will honour the advertised price of a competitor. Price matching allows you to shop several store sales, but all at one store. Walmart is a great store to price match in Canada. I love using the Flipp app for this, too. It allows you to search and save all the sales you find on one single list.
  7. Use Loyalty and Reward Programs: Most stores have their own locality and rewards program. Use them to your advantage. I personally love Loblaw’s PC Optimum program. I can usually knock-off a lot of the items on my girls back to school lists at their stores, and pay for all of it with points.
  8. Wait Last Minute: Procrastinators rejoice! Shopping last minute can actually save you some cash. Stores will often put their supplies out at a high price to start the back to school season. Then as time ticks down, they drop prices to clear out their inventory.
  9. Shop Generic: You will often pay a pretty penny (or nickel?) for shopping brand name and licenced products. Save yourself some cash and buy something a little more generic.
  10. Split Supplies Between Kids: Often school supplies will come in packs of multiples. Glue sticks often come in packs of 3. Buy one pack and give one glue stick to each kid.
  11. Buy Second Hand: Second-hand stores aren’t just to save some cash on back to school clothes, check out their back to school supplies section too! Often they will have backpacks and other school supplies for a fraction of the cost in big box stores.
  12. Don’t Forget The Dollar Store: The Dollar Store is a great place to hunt down some bargains. During back to school season, they will often carry brand name school supplies for a lower price than other stores.

Don’t forget to share this with your friends so they can save too! Save even more money on back to school by planning those school lunches ahead. Follow me on Pinterest for school lunch inspiration:

Got a tip I missed? Leave it in the comments below. If you are a fellow blogger with another tip, leave your site so I can give credit!



  1. Gina Butler says:

    These are some great tips. Another tip is to stock up during back to school sale too. Usually, halfway through the year, you need to replace sometimes. Buying them on sale at the beginning of the year saves money. If you end up not needing them, they go into the stockpile for the next year.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I’m one of those procrastinators who waits for sales to save some money. And stocking up on extra items from the dollar store is a great idea too.

  3. Codi says:

    The school my son was at last year you could opt in to have the school do the shopping — that was the best!! Def saved money not having to go to a store at all!

  4. Kristyl says:

    Love these tips. I’m the mom who always waits to the last minute, ends up spending a small fortune and scouring the stores that are all sold out.

  5. Maysz says:

    Great tips! My little brother is already grade 5 and I’m just to think how can I save money to buy his school supplies! thanks for sharing!

  6. Larrisha says:

    Great tips I definitely need to look st what we already have before going shopping this year. I ways be generic stuff so I will continue to do that.

  7. Samuel Frodo says:

    These are all awesome and very practical tips, the one that has been most effective for me has to shopping online. Saving the cost of having to drag all the kids around.

  8. Sharon Harding says:

    I found that teachers tended to over- estimate what school supplies were needed. I would check with parents whose kids had just finished the grade that my kids were going into. I’d find out what supplies their kids used and what was left over. Then I would buy accordingly.

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