Ask the Readers: Do You Shop Back-to-School Sales?

By Ashley Jacobs on 20 August 2013 (Updated 27 August 2013) 58 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Betty, Louly, and Laura for winning this week's contest!

Who says you need to be a student (or shopping for a student) to take advantage of the deals offered during the back-to-school season? This is a great time to net huge savings on things like laptops, furniture, office supplies, and more.

Do you shop back-to-school sales? Do you buy supplies specifically for school or just everyday living? What great deals have you come across this year?

Tell us whether you shop back-to-school sales and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

I shop the back to school sales just to load up on pencils, crayons, etc. We need them all year but they have obviously the best supply in the stores right now.

Guest's picture
Tyler

Do you shop back-to-school sales? Yes, I do almost every year.

Do you buy supplies specifically for school or just everyday living? I buy anything that I will use either at school or for everyday living for most of the next year.

What great deals have you come across this year? The best deal was a money making deal by combining a rebate and coupon at Staples. It was a net of about $30!

Guest's picture
kathleen viviano

I go both ways -- I shop during the year when I see special prices on items I know my daughter will need or does need and when the back to school sales hit, I look over my inventory of stuff to determine what is still needed. I find this way of shopping the best fit for me so I can budget the cost of school supplies and clothing over the year instead of on big expense hitting late summer.

Guest's picture

We usually don't bother. I find that you can get cheaper deals on almost everything if you get in the habit of routinely going to yard sales.

If a backpack is normally $40 and on sale for back to school for $30, why should I bother when I can buy someone's gently used on for $1 at a yard sale?

Guest's picture
Amanda Kortokrax

Growing up, my five younger siblings and I would always go back-to-school shopping. I now go back-to-school shopping... for grad school:) I like to follow and utilize moneysavingmom.com's blogs on different sites to find back-to-school items I can get for free. When my husband and I decide to have kids, we will most likely continue the tradition of "back-to-school shopping." I remember back-to-school shopping being an exciting and fun event I was able to share with my family; I hope to encourage the celebration of school starting :)

Guest's picture
Elena

Yes, I shop back to school sales and buy school supplies and clothes

Guest's picture
Monica

I usually buy back to school items just for the house (I'm a sucker for notebooks!) This year I still have plenty left from the last few years though.

Guest's picture
Denise L

Always shop the sales... no matter what I'm buying. Tax free weekend is a great time to shop too, but sometimes I don't have a list together by then.

Guest's picture
Karl

I stock up on some items my kids use for everyday. Like crayons, markers, and tape but we homeschool so I do not need to buy alot of other items!

Guest's picture
Shannon

I am not in school and have no kids - but I still shop the back to school sales sometimes! It's such a great time to stock up on notebooks and nice pens and the like. I usually purchase my own items like this for work in order to have stuff that is pleasant to use.

Guest's picture

Of course! This is when you can get pens, writing paper, etc, for dirt cheap!

Guest's picture
Theresa

I discovered this year that I can and should buy back-to-school supplies in bulk during the sale for the entire year--including supplies for home as well as those to be used for classroom donations throughout the year. I mean to use that to our advantage and save up for a back-to-school supplies budget for next year when it comes around again! =) 'Just love these sales!

Guest's picture
Stapler

Yes! Staples has great deals on notebooks, pens, and other back-to-school supplies for pennies on the dollar. August is the month when I stock up for the entire year.

Guest's picture
Angela

I do try to stock up on supplies this time of year. There have been some good coupons this year too!

Guest's picture
monique

I don't typically shop back to school sales, since I don't have a student in my life. I have, however, taken advantage of a good price on a laptop during a back to school sale once.

Guest's picture
Catherine

I wait until these sales to buy any office supplies I need for everyday living.

Donna Freedman's picture

Like others here, I have used these sales to buy office supplies. But I also buy these items to donate to social service agencies, since some families can't afford to buy the needed items.

Guest's picture
Christina

I do shop back to school sales for some household things (no one is actually in school), but I won't go out of my way for them, going to multiple stores or buying to meet dollar back amounts.

Guest's picture
GuestIaIa!

Yes, I have a "home office" so it's always worth looking at the back-to-school sales. This year, I've bought some decorative labels to help organize stuff at home.

Guest's picture

I definitely shop the back to school sales for school supplies, such as crayons, pencils, notebooks, paper and such. I take advantage of the loss leaders as much as possible for both school and home office.

I recently blogged about this topic here:
http://www.motherfrugal.com/2013/08/06/letting-the-monkeys-back-in/

I usually find backpacks and clothes for much less at garage sales and thrift shops, so I generally don't shop the back to school sales for those.

Guest's picture
KelR1

I don't have children and my husband and I are no longer students, so I don't typically shop back to school sales. The only exception is if I happen to need something for our household at this particular time of year (for instance, I run out of paper or need a glue stick). Then I would take advantage of the sales. But otherwise, no.

Guest's picture
MELISSA HANSSON

Last year I bought a lot of back to school supplies, for my household & also for a teacher friend. But this year has been odd - I just haven't found the time or inclination.

Guest's picture

I don't have kids so I don't need back to school supplies. But my husband's church collects gift boxes for poor children around Christmas. I stock up on fun and cheap things during back to school sales to put in the gift boxes.

Guest's picture
Anissa

I love sales and sales I especially need. I've already hit up several for back to school. The more I save the more I buy to help out other kids.

Guest's picture
Brenda Faulkner

I stock up during the year whenever there is a sale.

Guest's picture
Gina

I shop all the back to school sales and keep an eye on store flyers for the sales. So far this year there have been a lot of good $1 sales. I shop for both school and general home use.

Guest's picture
Diane

Yes, definitely! My sons are in college, so I get a few things for them. I also shop the sales for office supplies & for personal supplies to last throughout the year. Might as well take advantage of the sales when you can! Besides, I love fresh school supplies! ;-)

Guest's picture
MG

We shop clearance sales where you get better prices. The important thing is do not buy things that you do not need and do not buy too much (things can still spoil). Back to school sales do not bring the best prices. When we need school supplies, we check the prices carefully to make sure that we are really getting a good deal.

Guest's picture
Liisa

No, we don't have kids yet and we tend to spend more in the summer with eating out and travel, so by the end of August I'm trying to cut way back again!

Guest's picture
Laura Jacobson

OH yes, I always shop back to school sales and try to get good prices! We also start early and try to pick up a little at a time to help spread the cost out a bit!

Guest's picture
Lynda

my husband is this year because he is going back to school

Guest's picture
Mere

Yes! I am a school supply junkie, which is great bc hubby is a teacher! Haha :) This time of year has the best sales on stuff for him. Also bc of hub's teacher card at Staples, we get extra promos (can buy 10 - 1 cent packs of paper, not just 5) and I always take advantage for donations. I love school supplies!

Guest's picture
cwaltz

Yep. This time of the year is when I stock up on pencils, notebooks, pens, crayons and glue.

Guest's picture
Kristin Murphy

I shop Back-to-School Sales during August for items we don't have which are used but in good condition or new and stockpiled from previous sales. After the search at home, I take both of my kids' lists and compare them to one "super store," buying any item which is on the list and a penny (and whatever small minimum the store requires for some of the other things. I also shop the other stores' sales when I know that their deals are the lowest compared to last years' deals (I use a site which compares the prices for each week in the current year with the lowest price tracked last year.) A day or so before school starts, I buy whatever is left on the lists. For clothes, we just replace when needed around the year, shopping sales and consignment shops.

Guest's picture
Raina

No, even though I'm a college student, I'm never in need of school supplies for the home. Everything I need is available in the office supplies at work, or I can find on campus somewhere.

Guest's picture
Holly S

Back to school sales are much like Black Friday sales for me, as much as I hate to shop them I just can't pass up the savings with my limited budget so Yes, I always shop them.

Guest's picture
Bethany

Yes, I have toddlers, but we take advantage of the cheap markers and glue.

Guest's picture
Guest

I buy my children's school supplies at the back-to-school sales, but for clothes, I always shop thrift.

Guest's picture
Betty D.

We bought our laptop at a back to school sale. If you check the ad papers, the prices drop on computers as school nears.

Guest's picture
Susan D.

Yes, I shop back to school sales--that's when I stock up on printer paper, composition books, pens, pencils, and art supplies. All in moderation, of course. Heh.

Guest's picture
Sandy

Yes, although if you plan ahead you can find super deals on school and office supplies at thrift stores year round. Stock up when you find something and when back-to-school time comes you've got a head start!

Guest's picture
DeeDee

Yes indeed. My kids are grown and out of the house but every year some organization is usually looking for donations and bargains abound if you watch the ads. I am happy to help since it doesn't cost a fortune.

Guest's picture

The first year we took my step-son school shopping, I had coupons for all of his favorite stores, and was able to find deals online for a backpack that would have normally been too expensive. Four years later, that backpack is STILL holding up just fine. This year, we didn't take advantage of the sales like usual, because we realized school started a whole WEEK earlier than we were expecting. Last-minute shopping! Ahh!!

Guest's picture
Kristine R.

Heck yes I shop back to school sales! A lot of the times you can get items for .01 or even free with coupons!

Guest's picture
kristina

If there's a good deal, I will.

Guest's picture
Rosie M.

We only get what is absolutely needed for the start of the year. Usually, we have enough left over and around the house for pencils, crayons, backpacks, etc. Notebooks for classes are the one thing we do purchase new each year-- and the kids get to choose their own colors.

Guest's picture
Patty

My children are grown and I still shop back to school sales...especially for spiral notebooks. They're often a loss leader priced below 25 cents so a gteat time to stock up.

I also buy glue sticks, pens, pencils, crayons and anything our grandchildren can use when visiting. And these items are great to donate to schools.

I saw Staples had the one-subject college-ruled spiral notebooks for a penny, but couldn't get there in time. Did buy a few at Target for 17 cents each!

Guest's picture
Alissa A

I love back to school sales, but shop for daily living for the year!

Guest's picture
Deb K

I do shop back to school sales. I have a thing for school and office supplies. I like to collect pens and notebooks for various writing tasks. This year, however, my husband is currently out of work, so I have managed to stop myself from doing more than window shopping them. And it has been hard, considering the prices! I bought a composition notebook for 50 cents.

Guest's picture
Kathy Thomas

Yes, I shop the school sales. I bought 2inch binders for a penny. After school started I needed one more. I sent my husband to the office supply store And he paid $9! If I paid full price for school supplies for my 4 children, the cost would total hundreds of dollars, and we could not afford that.

Guest's picture
Scoutmaster

Yes! As a homeschooling mom I am in heaven with all the GREAT deals out there. I buy UP TO 80% off jump drives, laundry baskets, sheets, to give (as going away to college gifts) for my son's friends. I buy a large bag full of crayons, colored paper, dry erase board materials art supply, etc... for our Sunday school classes. Notebooks, pens, etc for our own home are all dirt cheap! I check out E-bay and on-line sites for their "Deal of the day" and snatch a bargain or two.
I load up on tax free day on new socks, underware. Clothes we get through out the year at yard sales & thrift stores and "swaps with friends"
For the cost of buying the needed items for our own "school" at retail, we are able to donate & share our finds with a multitude of others! This is a Win-Win for all of usand make everyone happy.

Guest's picture
Joseph

I don't really shop sales as I tend to do a lot electronically or have extra supplies on hand.

Guest's picture
Tabathia B

I do both. I shop specifically for back to school and throughout the year. I always shop when I find a great deal that I may/may not have a coupon for. I take advantage of Staples/Office Depot summer deals for school supplies and keep an eye for deals that re limited for at least two like items per customers because they tend to be doorbusters. I think the best deal has been an electric pencil sharpner for about $6

Guest's picture
Rebecca B. A. R.

I don't have any kids, but I do shop the back to school sales for myself. It is always a good time to buy underwear!

Guest's picture
Happy Love

Yes, it's a great time to get a deal on pens, pencils, and paper to use throughout the year.

Guest's picture
Carmen

I do a little bit for Operation Christmas Child supplies; my child is too young for school

Guest's picture
Abby B.

I shop back to school sales online. It's faster and easier to see what's on sale before trudging through every store in town.

Guest's picture
Danielle

I had some great deals from Staples this year. I bought scissors for $1 per pair, dry erase markers for $ 1 per 4 pack, and Sharpies for 25 cents per two pack. I stocked up for home and school.