Ways to Save and Give for Back to School

photo by laffy4k

Back to School season is upon us, and that means stores will be clamoring for our business. Once again, those awesome freebies and penny deals are back!  Last year, for about four or five weeks straight, companies were practically giving stuff away in hopes that we would choose their stores over others.  Here’s how you can save some money this back to school season, and possibly help others in the process.

Make a list…

You may already have an idea of what your children need this year.  Make up that list so that you know which deals you need to grab.

photo by Brit.

Get the Sunday paper…

If you don’t have a subscription to the main paper in your area, at least pick up the Sunday editions this coming month.  Do this so that you can a. view all of the fliers to find the best deals and also b. keep an eye out for store coupons that end up in the paper.

Check the websites of the major stores…

Don’t want to buy the paper on Sundays?  Check the main websites for the stores in your area, and browse their ads.  I recommend checking Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid.


Some weeks there will be so many deals at so many places, that you feel like you need to plan a whole day to visit all of the stores.  There is no need to do this, because many major retailers will actually price-match.  Target, Walmart and most office supply stores do price-match.  Yes, they even do it on the penny and free deals!  Take in all of the ads for the deals you want, and just price-match everything at check out.

Competitor Coupons…

Just like price-matching, the office supply stores will usually accept competitor coupons.  Just call ahead and ask to find out if they do.

Shop Online…

If you can save some time and gas money, try shopping online.  Online coupon codes, and cash back sites like Ebates can sometimes make for an even better deal than what you can get in-store.  Since I am a person that likes to avoid crowds, this option is usually ideal for me.


If you can get school supplies for pennies on the dollar, it’s time to start thinking of how you can help others.  Many churches do back-to-school donation projects where you can fill a backpack with supplies for needy kids.  And don’t just be thinking about what you can give right now for back-to-school needs.  Think ahead to the holidays when you can fill shoe boxes for needy kids around the world.  School supplies make great items to add to these boxes.  Not only are you making a child happy, but you are also encouraging learning!  And if you can do it for mere pennies, or even free, then why wouldn’t you?

Did you shop the back to school deals last year?  Tell us about it!

P.S. Be sure to check back weekly for all the great back to school deals to be listed right here on TheThriftyMama.com.  You can also subscribe via email or Facebook to keep up with the latest deals.

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  1. Our local Dollar Tree chain has a box for school supply donations for children/families of deployed Troops. Also if you are looking to donate supplies, check your local TV stations. I know the ones around here have backpack and supply drives, with drop off boxes in a lot of locations.

  2. Just a couple of thoughts…Teachers can sometimes get more than the limit, such as 25 of the items at Staples. Staples and other stores will have teacher appreciation days coming up. Watch for clearance of school supplies later in the fall for more good deals. If you’re not sure what schools can use, that info is sometimes on the school website.
    These are some of the things I did in previous years and hope to do again this year: Helped my students and some of my teacher colleagues. Helped my own children and grandchildren at the start of the school year and with little surprises as the year went by, and even in Christmas stockings. Filled a number of shoeboxes inexpensively. Helped fill backpacks for needy kids through my church.

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