Big week for school supply sales
Bloggers detail the deals at national chains. One suggestion: Give your kids a budget and let them decide what to buy.
This may be good news to moms (and dads) and not-so-good news for the youngsters: It's time to think about going back to school.
The school supply sales are in full swing this week, and shopping now may save you some bucks over waiting until the week before school starts, when many items will be back to regular prices. Waiting for the sales tax holiday may pay in some states, but stores that want to lure you in sooner may offer better discounts before the tax-free week.
Really savvy shoppers bought most everything they needed at last year's school supply clearance sales in September and October and at other times during the year when they saw a deal. If you weren't quite so efficient, all is not lost.
Carolyn Erickson at Wichita on the Cheap has put together a series of guides to this week's deals at major chain stores:
For a few stores they apparently don't have in Wichita, Tara Kuczykowski at Deal Seeking Mom has the scoop:
Our top piece of advice: Before you shop, scour your house for all the unused supplies you already have. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Last year I gave my kids a set dollar amount and they were to use that money to purchase all they needed for school. Supplies, backpack, clothing … all that good stuff! Here was the kicker: Any money they had left over was theirs to keep! They were much more selective about the supplies they picked!! And some decided against getting a new backpack; another decided he didn't need very many new clothes.
Of course, you'll have to make sure your child includes the basics and doesn't come crying to you later for pencils or pens.
If you require some help organizing what you need and analyzing prices, Cathy has a downloadable customizable spreadsheet, which is a ZIP file.
And remember that you don't have to buy everything before school starts. You still have time to benefit from this year's school supply clearance sales.
What's your top advice for saving money on school supplies? Have you found other deals?
More from MSN Money:
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