Stretching Your Dollar: Saving on School Supplies

It’s estimated that more than 30 percent of kids don’t have all the school supplies they need when class starts.

Even if they do, parents may want to stock up on some great deals happening right now.

Starting now and likely lasting until the end of August, you can save at least 50 percent on school items at most stores. Dave Poletti, store manager of Meijer in Greenwood, said packaging is a key tipoff.

Poletti showed off a series of basic cardboard boxes full of paper supplies. “Here's a great example of a display that's not pretty, but these are all college ruled notebooks,” Poletti said. “They are normally priced around 99 cents, but you can buy these at 17 cents, so this in itself is just a great buy.”

Meijer shopper Tammy Olnick found plenty of ways to save. “I was actually shopping for locker decorations for my son. He's in middle school now and he's pretty excited.” Tammy went down the aisles, taking advantage of deals on items like hooks for lockers.

“These locker accessories are pre-packed shipper displays that our buyers up in the corporate office are able to buy at great prices that you can pass on right to the customers,” Poletti explained.

Most stores have "school lists," which are great for checking to see if there’s something you may have missed. The same checklist will also save time and money by keeping you from making repeated trips to the store.

To save really big, look for in-store markdowns. At Meijer, they're called "Price Drops." Sometimes, those yellow tags can save you 50% off the original price, if not more.

Poletti showed a few examples to Fox59. “These are backpacks, for back to school. And these are normally $49.99 and you can get these backpacks for $25.”

Those are the standard items, but every year, there are must-haves, and now they're half off. Some of the hottest sellers right now are simply things that are unique like scented pencils that smell like fruit. They’ve been a popular item this year.

The takeaway: sniff around for great savings and cool things by shopping now. After all, about a fourth of school shopping will still happen in the next few weeks, and the deals are there if you look.




Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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