Stock up on school (and office) supplies with back-to-school sales
You can start stocking up on school (and office) supplies now if you haven't already but be careful out there. Great deals are everywhere (including Target, Kmart, Staples, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Walgreens, and Toys R Us) but just buy the items you usually need and make sure you are getting a bargain as some items in the back-to-school aisles can be pricey.
What do you use a lot of during the year and what would you like to always have on hand, avoiding a time-wasting trip to the office-supply or discount store? And if you've got kids in school, what do they usually need? Best bargains for me and my family are spiral notebooks, filler paper, marble composition books, pencils, glue, portfolio folders, crayons, colored markers, and colored pencils.
Here are a few things I've learned in snapping up these bargains:
- Crayola rules! I've bought other brands either during sales or at the dollar store but off-brand crayons tend to break easily. For school purposes, small packs (8-24 crayons) are best because too many choices can slow down a project and too many crayons can weigh down a book bag.
- Most Staples' brands are fine but the ink pens, I avoid;
- Portfolio folder prices and quality vary widely from under 10 cents to close to a dollar; check out the quality (thickness of the paper) before you buy and stock up if you can pay less than 20 cents or preferably 10 cents per folder;
- Certain items are harder to find except during the back-to-school sales, such as English/Spanish dictionaries and book covers;
- Usually you can get marble composition books (in 2-packs) at the dollar store all year long.
After you bring it all home, keep supplies organized and accessible so you can skip at least a few supply runs until next year.