7 Simple Tricks to Spend Less on School Supplies


Published on: May 29, 2015 Last updated: June 26, 2020

Back to school
With kids on their way back to school, parents are preparing their budget for the purchase of school supplies. Many parents are eying higher expenses as the K-12 program kicks in.

When buying school supplies, “Remember to prioritize and buy the necessities first,” says personal finance guru and author Fitz Villafuerte. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to save money for the school year.

Make a list and stick to it

Having a list of things to buy will cut down on shopping time. Get your child involved in the process of making the list as a lesson in planning, and allocating money to a certain goal. Ask them what kind of things they want, and make a list of pros and cons towards getting these particular items.

Shop during a sale

Most malls and outlets have end of summer or back to school sales that you can take advantage of if you time it right. Check newspapers, magazines, and websites for when these happen and plan your shopping accordingly. The odds of getting discounts and freebies are much higher on these dates.

Know when to go cheap and when to buy quality

Shopping for school supplies on the cheap can be harmful to your child. It’s best to consider quality over getting something cheap to ensure that they last more than a single academic year. Items that you should consider on the quality list are bags, lunchboxes, and rain gear.

Buy basic supplies in bulk

Brand may sometimes determine how much more or less you pay, but you can hit Divisoria for bulk buys and save some more money. Basic items like notebooks, pencils, pens, pad paper, and art materials can be bought in bulk to avoid having to spend again later on in the year.

Reuse and recycle

One great way to save on buying new things is to reuse them. Notebooks from last year, for example, can be repurposed as notebooks for the coming year. Combine unused pages from notebooks to make new ones, or turn old test papers into scratch paper. You can make these a DIY project with your kids for added fun and personalization.

Plan the lunchbox

Packing a lunchbox for your kids makes sure that they get meals that are as balanced and healthy. This also saves on money that would otherwise have gone to empty calories. It also lets your kids see the importance of a balanced diet.

Label your kids’ things

Losing things can be a given for younger kids, having to replace something in the middle of the year is costly as well. Placing your child’s name on their things lets them find these things faster if they happen to misplace them.
These are just some of the things you can do to cut back on back-to-school expenses. Getting your kids involved teaches them the value of money and how your budget also involves their well-being even when you aren’t with them.