Back to School: Saving on supplies

August 23, 2011 (CHICAGO)

1) What parents are expected to spend this year on back to school supplies:

  • $132.37- elementary-school students
  • $159.22 - middle schoolers
  • $900.70 - High School students
    (source: 2011 Backpack Index by Huntington Bank, Columbus, OH)

    2) Antoinette Peterson "Sister Save-A-Lot" (
    Antoinette Peterson is a single mother who loves to save money. She works for a non-for-profit Company in Chicago. She is passionate on living on less and wants to help others do the same. Her blog, Sister Save-A-Lot began when she was continuously asked on how she got merchandise for next to nothing. She hopes her blog helps individuals and families save money by sharing the latest coupons, sales and rebates available.

    3) Sensible tips to pay less:

  • Make a detailed budget and stick to it
  • Clean house: Take a look at office supplies and other items that you have at home, see if these items are on your child's school supply list
  • Price Match : Take advantage of Walmart Ad match and Target Price match opportunities. If another store has crayons on sale for $.15 a box; don't waste your time driving around town. Price match at your local Walmart and Target.
  • Reward Bucks: Use your rewards from the office stores to purchase your school supplies. When you recycle ink at Staples, you get $2.00 back in rewards bucks. Take those reward bucks and use them to purchase the weekly school supply deals.
  • Send Request to Friends: If you don't mind asking friends to check around their home to see what supplies they have. I had a lady who took my coupon class say that she have 2 cases of paper at her house. She stated that her daughter was in college and did not need notebook paper. She donated it to a school.
  • Don't overlook locally owned, neighborhood discount stores

    NOTE: Zemsky's Uniform Store: Compared to other stores you save 40 percent by purchasing your uniform from them. You can get an extra 10 percent off by going to their website,

    Dollar Tree: When it comes to back-to-school shopping, it isn't just pencils and papers. You now have to purchase hand sanitizer, hand soap, tissue and paper towels. In Chicago Dollar Tree stores, they accept coupons and you can purchase a few items listed above for less than $1.

    Take advantage of coupons, promotional codes and stores' price matching policies.

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