Back to school time?

The parents and kids here in Brevard County are preparing for back to school.  When is back to school?  I have no idea.  I’m guessing somewhere around the 2nd week of August.  Since I have no kids at home it is not one of those important things I think about, but it really should be. Why do you ask?  Because of all the back to school savings!

Let’s face it, back to school sales happen only once a year.  The list of things considered back to school are endless.  I mean from paper, pens, backpacks, socks, shoes, even underwear are considered back to school items.

How often do you reach for a pen,some paper, even a stapler and you are out.  The pens you have for some reason don’t work, no paper for the printer or to write on.  Oh, and my favorite, you are in the middle of that craft project and  the tape has an inch left or the staples jam in the stapler because you have 3 staples left in the stapler.  Even worse is when there is no glue.
Here is your chance to stock up and save.  I mean think it through and watch for sales. Is that cheaper pen a good deal to buy 3 dozen when in reality the pen runs out of ink very quickly and  leaves a lot to be desired?    I ‘d rather buy a more expensive pen than one I can’t rely on.  We purchased this weekend from Wal Mart, 17 single subject note books for $.17 each.  A dozen pens for $1 and 2 rolls of tape for $1.  I still need to pick up a few more packages of pens and a couple of pads of paper.  I also need to watch the sales for that printer paper.  
I am watching the sales for socks for myself and my husband.  I need to pick up at least a couple of packages for both of us.  I also need to watch for underwear sales for my husband.  The sales this time of year are better than most of the rest of the year.  I don’t have to go at the last minute and most stuff is in stock at your local stores.
My suggestions are :
1.     Watch the sales circulars online or in your local paper.
2.     Calculate if the sale is a good deal for you and yours.  No matter how little you pay for something it is not a deal if you don’t need it. Or ever use it.
3.     I would shop early in the day when store shelves are stocked.  I hate going to a store for one thing and that thing is not in stock. 
4.     In the name of conserving gas, I would shop for everything on one day.  
5.     If you have kids and they want to go shopping for their school supplies with you, pick up the stuff you can buy that doesn’t matter whether it is cool or not without them.  But pick up the sponge bob folders while clothes shopping so they get to pick it out.  Folders are the big thing around here. My kids used to have to have a folder for every subject. With four kids and so many subjects, and a limited amount of money they got to pick a couple “cool” folders and the rest were plain (less expensive) that they could dress up if they chose.
6.  Really watch those sales!  Florida has a tax free week for school supplies and clothing.  My experience is that retailers know that sales tax free is incentive enough for lots of shoppers and they don’t put as good of sales on that week.  So be careful!
7. This really should have been number 1.  Make a list of what you need and for whom.  In this way you can be prepared when kids decide they “need” stuff.  It also helps when you are in a store for an unrelated issue and find a great deal.  
Have a great time out there getting the back to school bargains.  Remember to store all the extras away in a box so they are used wisely.  I have seen kids and my husband open a bag of pens when there were 5 or 6 pens laying around.  Your savings isn’t savings if the items are used up or lost because family members use up the extra.
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