Dog with BackpackThe dog days of summer are coming to a close. For us, today was the first day of school. Although our kids are only in preschool, we still had some back to school shopping left to do. From our research, here are 5 of the best ways to save on school supplies along with relevant stores that offer great promotions. As usual, the rule of thumb here is to always use a coupon or promo code before you shop online! We even made a special page where you can find all of our back to school deals and coupons.

1. When you think “back to school,” the first thing that comes to mind is pen and paper. Most schools will hand out school supply lists before school starts. After you get a hold of your supply list, one place you can head to is Staples where you can buy a 15% off “savings pass” for $10 that covers all of your school supplies. While big name stores, such as Target, OfficeMax and Office Depot offer free shipping coupons, many smaller stores can offer greater discounts. For example, Discount School Supply has 10% and 15% off coupons for back to school.

2.¬†Clothing, uniforms and backpacks are the second most common items on your list. There are many coupons to choose from and usually it comes down to your preference of clothing for where to shop. You can save with free shipping and up to 20% off with coupons from stores such as Alloy, The Children’s Place, dELiAs, Hanna Anderson, JC Penney, KMart, and Kohl’s. eBags is a popular place to buy backpacks, where you can also enjoying savings of 20% off.

3. If you have kids that are going to college or even high school, most likely you will need to buy some kind of a computer, either a PC, Mac, iPad or tablet. Technology is usually where the biggest chunk of your back to school budget is going. That’s why it’s very important to shop around for the best deal for computers, calculators and other electronics. Apple has a great program for students, parents and teachers, offering free shipping and savings of up to $200. Plus, if you are a student or teacher, you can take advantage of Apple’s special payment plan.

4. Arts and crafts: this is my favorite category; I love shopping for arts and crafts. Our preschoolers love painting, cutting, gluing and all, so I don’t mind spending a little bit extra on it. These two are my favorite online stores for arts & crafts supplies: Crayola Store and Utrecht Art. Crayola Store offers a 20% off and free shipping coupon for back to school shoppers. And, has 40% off any arts and crafts supply item for any age, any level.

5. Educational materials are usually overlooked by parents, but they can be very important in supporting your child’s development outside of school. Your child can develop a love of reading more easily or learn brain juggling exercises for intellectual stimulation through playing fun and educational games. Booksellers and toy stores are the most common source for these materials. One of the most most well known, The Scholastic Store, routinely has free shipping and percent off coupons.

In case you missed our previous article, we talked about ways to save on textbooks.

Going back to school can be a fun time for both your child as well as you. It’s even more fun when we can save a lot. To find the deals mentioned above and other great coupons, make sure to visit our Back to School Center.

Have a great school year!