August 7, 2014

7 Ways to Save Money on Back to School

It's that time of year again. Time to start thinking about back to school shopping... from school supplies and new clothes to lunches, snacks, and everything in between. If you're like me, all of those expenses add up. (Especially when you've got THREE kids in school! Yikes!) To help ease some of the back to school stress, here are 7 ways to save money on back to school shopping in Bastrop, Texas and beyond:

  1. Print Coupons - An easy way to save is to print coupons at home for items on your school supply list. Currently, you can print coupons for Purell, Ziploc bags, Wet Ones (disinfectant wipes), Clorox wipes, facial tissues, and more. Most coupons can be printed 2 times per computer. Click here for the BISD school supply list for 2014-2015.

    Here are some great places to score coupons:

    Some stores, including Walgreens, CVS, and Staples, will let you pair a manufacturer coupon with a store coupon for even bigger savings. And while we don't have a Target in Bastrop County (yet... fingers crossed!), they also offer additional savings through mobile coupons (text OFFERS to 827-438) and the Cartwheel app. Other local retailers who offer mobile coupons include Staples (text JOIN to 555-444) and Payless (text HAPPY to 747-474).

  2. Reward Programs - Many stores offer reward programs with special deals and savings for members. For example, at CVS, reward members get special prices on certain items, as well as ExtraCare Bucks, which can be used like cash on future purchases.

    Some of these retailers include:

  3. Store Deals - Many retailers offer special in-store deals on certain products. For example, next week (8/13/14 - 8/17/14), when you purchase $20 in school supplies at HEB, you will get a $10 Catalina coupon at checkout!

    Here are some of the prices of school supplies at HEB:
    • GTC pencils (12 ct.) $0.60
    • Crayola Markers (10 ct.) $2.94
    • HEB colored pencils $0.77
    • 2-pocket folders with brads $0.15 (limit 12)
    • Elmer glue sticks (2 ct.) $0.50
    • Elmer school glue bottles $0.50
    • HEB Buddy glue bottles $0.44 (limit 6)
    • 1-subject wide ruled notebook $0.88
    • 70 sheet spiral notebook $0.25 (limit 12)
    • 150 sheet wide or college ruled paper $0.82
    • HEB crayons (24 ct.) $0.25 (limit 6)
    • Crayola crayons (24 ct.) $0.50
    • Composition books $0.50 (limit 6)
    • GTC 1" vinyl binder 1 $0.92
    • HEB Buddy pencil sharpener $0.87
      (Thanks, Saving a Buck with Mrs. Buck!)

    Other stores that offer in-store deals include CVS, Walgreens, Staples, and Target. Check out the weekly ads for in-store deals. Here are a couple of apps to download that will keep you up-to-date with the weekly circulars:

  4.  Rebates - There are so many wonderful apps that let you earn rebates on things you buy in-store. All you have to do is submit your receipt to earn rebates. Here are some of the apps:

    There are also some great websites that let you earn cash back for shopping online at stores like Gap, Old Navy, Children's Place, Gymboree, Amazon, and more. Plus, sites like RetailMeNot give you coupon codes to save even more at your favorite stores! Here are some of the other cash back sites:

  5. Tax-Free Weekend - Shop for back to school supplies including clothes and shoes without paying sales tax! This year, the Texas Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 8th-10th. Click here for more info.

  6. Shop Used - There are a lot of ways to save money when you don't mind buying used items. There are consignment shops, thrift stores, and garage sale groups on Facebook, just to name a few. For a list of all the Bastrop County garage sale groups on Facebook, click here.

    Here are some of the best places to shop used in Bastrop:
  7. Let Others Do the Work For You! This whole saving money thing can get a little overwhelming. Luckily, there are a million blogs dedicated to helping you save money.

    Here are some of my favorite money-saving blogs:

I hope that gives you some great ideas on how to save a little money this year. If you have any other tips, please share them in the comments!

P.S. This article contains some referral links. :)

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