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Back to school Supplies competing with your Diwali Budget! This year parents and children spent Rs 5000 on a minimum on essential school supplies. Here are a few ways to save money on supplies:
1. Make a List
Make a comprehensive List. Lists really take the guess work out and help you plan better and budget your expenses into absolute must haves and frivolous items. Don’t have one refer our Ultimate Back to School Shopping List post.
2. Start with your Home
Go through your kid’s stationery cupboards and see if you can find anything you can reuse. Most often we find half used pens, pencils, erasers, books saving us a lot of time and money on our list. The used pencil boxes, bags, clothes that they have outgrown can be donated to a charity near-by. Teaching kids to recycle, donate or reuse early in life really makes them mindful of wasting stuff.
Another activity you could do with kids is to remove all the left-over pages from old notebooks and if you can find a few files from your old office/conference supplies. You could put them together to make a binder that they can use as a rough notebook. Not just recycling but an activity to keep them engaged and make them learn a very useful lesson.
3. Shop Online
Now that you have your final list minus the products you found from last year the best place to start and discover new and best products is online. Every year we learn new things that are better for our kids and it is good to thoroughly research products before buying them not just for comparing prices but also for quality and durability.When shopping for your school bag keep in mind the size in volume(Litres). They range from 15 -30 plus Litres in volume. Not sure how to pick the right size refer to our School BackPack Buying Guide article to be published soon. Also while picking your snack /lunch boxes and water bottles make sure to either buy stainless steel containers that are child friendly or BPA free plastics.
Online stores help you compare brands and prices across categories from the convenience of your home. Most of them offer some great discounts and group buy opportunities.It helps to be organized and to order ahead of time but even if it is a last minute add on the online store is always cheaper than the offline neighborhood store. With hyper local delivery options online deliveries have also become very fast.
4. Buying Generic Vs Branded Products
This is always a toss-up between buying good consistent quality branded stationery and school supplies Vs unbranded generics. It comes down to a price difference of 10-15% so if it is an essential product that needs to last you all year long it would be better to buy a reliable branded product.
5. Don’t Forget your Coupons / Coupon Codes
We all get tones of coupon codes and coupons via email and in the papers these days. But rarely do we remember to redeem them. It helps to save these in your email folders so that it is easy to retrieve them when you need them. Very often retailers, companies and online stores have coupons for the same products which can be combined. Paying attention to these small tips goes a long way in saving us a lot of money … every Rupee counts…..
Sana Seth is a mother of two a 12 year old boy and a 4 year old girl . She is an involved mother and a freelance writer. When Sana is not spending time with her family or writing, she’s out trying to find the best possible deals … A Rupee saved is a Rupee earned ….