It is no secret that school supplies can cost a single family hundreds of dollars per child. If you are on a tight budget, the thought of buying school supplies might make you nervous. But the good news is, there are ways to get all the back to school supplies you need without ending up deeper in debt. Look at how to buy school supplies when you are broke, so you can get the kids back to school even if funds are tight.
How to Buy School Supplies When You are Broke
1. Take advantage of dollar store offerings.
Dollar stores can be your best friend when you are buying back to school supplies. You can find large packages of pencils, glue, pencil bags, lunch bags, white out, crayons, markers, and so much more. They even offer character varieties! Visit the dollar store first and see how much of your list you can knock out.
2. Penny sales are your best friend.
Lots of office supply stores offer penny sales during the back to school season. Be sure to check Sunday circulars for these sales and take advantage of them. Shop with a friend or friends (or even the kids) so you can each take advantage of the deal since they may be limited to one per customer. If you have to shop alone, ask if you can do multiple transactions to get the deal.
3. Take advantage of any giveaways you are eligible for.
Is your city or school corporation offering any type of school supply giveaway? If your income allows you to qualify for these events, attend. These events give out an array of donated school supplies that can help you get your child stocked up even when funds are low.
4. Ask the school which supplies your child will use the first week of school.
Lots of school supplies will go on sale and clearance the week or so after school starts. Ask your child’s school which supplies off the list are a priority and buy those items first. This way you can wait on the other items until they go on sale.
5. Try re-using what you have.
Before you buy anything, go through what you already have and see what may work. You might be surprised at how many supplies from the previous year are still in good shape with some life left in them. Look for extra pencils, crayons, notebooks, and even items that would be great for lunch boxes.
6. Be realistic with your child about your budget.
Fancy school supplies and character branded items tend to cost much more than plain. If working on a budget, be realistic about it with your child. Offer them one of these character folders or notebooks and opt for the rest in plain. This way they still get a fun folder/notebook but you can snag the rest of the folders for as little as a quarter.
Buying back to school supplies can be a financial burden. Try these methods on how to buy school supplies when you are broke and see how they can help make the most of even the tightest budget.