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Tips to Help You Save Money on School Supplies

By Jessa McClure

As the new school year approaches, that all important trip to the store to buy school supplies is looming in the distance. With a summer full of trips to the beach and the water park, you might not have as much money to spend on pencils and rulers as you would like.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are some great ways to save money on these necessary tools without breaking the bank.

Buy in Bulk
Purchasing supplies too early in the summer might mean a hefty bill at the checkout. Instead, wait for the school supplies to go on sale and stock up on the items you know you will need like pencils, notebook paper and crayons.

The dollar store and grocery stores usually have the best prices when it comes to the basics, and their low prices often continue throughout the year.

Personalize Cheap Supplies
If you opted for the dollar store or grocery store school supplies, they might not be the "coolest" supplies in school. In order to appease your children and your budget, try helping them decorate plain notebooks and journals with washi tape, stickers or even chalkboard paint.

Take Advantage of Tax-Free Weekend
If you're brave enough to fight the crowds on Tax-Free Weekend, you will probably find some great deals. Not only will you be purchasing items without the sales tax, but many stores offer additional savings and sales to entice shoppers to stock up.  This year's Tax-Free Weekend is August 11 through 13.

Sign up for Online Coupons
Many of the big retail stores like Target and Walmart offer coupons on school supplies that are already marked down. Some of the companies will also give you preferential treatment or additional coupons if you like their Facebook pages or sign up to receive email blasts. This could help you save beyond school supply season.

Reuse Supplies
Look through your drawers, closets and cabinets and see if there are any hidden treasures. If you over-bought last year, then you might have a few extra supplies lying around the house. Not only are these supplies already on hand, but they are FREE!

Buy Second Hand
One of the most important school supplies, at least in your children's eyes, is new clothes. If you're shopping at retail stores, you might not be able to get as much for your money. Consignment shops and second-hand stores offer great, gently used clothing that can give your children the new look they're hoping for, without breaking the bank.

Click here for a list of consignment and resale shops in your area.

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