School Office Supplies - How to Get the Best Deal on School and Office Supplies
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The late summer and early fall is the time to shop for school and office supplies. As children are planning to go back to school, teachers are sending home list of supplies (sometimes quite long). Luckily, this time of year also provides a great opportunity for serious savings.
The key to purchasing school supplies is organization and patience. It is very important to check the advertisements in the Sunday paper every week from early August until late September. Keep your school list on hand and compare the sales to the list. Additionally, when there is a sale on something that is always necessary, like pencils, erasers, paper, etc., now is the time to stock up.
Every week at stores like Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, Walgreens, Target and Walmart, different items are on sale, sometimes for as little as a penny. If you keep and eye on the ads, you can often find items like folders, spiral notebooks, journals, pencils, and pens for a penny. When these items are on sale, it is time to buy the full number allowed by the store. There is almost always a limit, but often the limit is 5 or more. Buy them all. Even if the school list only calls for 3 notebooks, you know that there is always a need for more notebooks later in the year, in your office, or the next school year.
Similarly, when there are items on sale like poster board, that may not be on the school list, if you have storage space, it pays to stock up. Kids are always coming home from school needing to make one project or another. If you have to run out in the middle of the night to buy poster board, you could be spending up to $2.50 per page. If you buy now when it is on sale, you can get each piece for a dime.
What if you don’t have any kids? Well, this time of year is still a great time to stock up on office supplies, whether for a traditional office or a home office. What office is complete without pens and pencils? Well if you keep an eye on the circulars, you could find these items for pennies. How about buying writable C.D.s and D.V.D.s? Office stores will many time have instant rebates on these types of items making them 70% or more cheaper than everyday prices.
Another question often asked is whether the store clubs are worth signing up for. It is true that they add another card in your wallet or on your key chain. However, when you are stocking up on school and office supplies, you can be earning rewards that you can use for future purchases. At Staples, you can earn 10% on all paper, ink and toner purchases. At Office Max, you will received a $25 gift card for every $500 you spend, with no limit on rewards. At Office Depot, you can earn 10% on ink and toner and 1% on everything else. At all these stores, teachers can earn even more. All these store reward programs can be linked to a phone number, so there is no need to carry the card around with you. Additionally, you can receive extra coupons as a member.
If you are in the store, don’t forget to check out the clearance racks. These are usually in a back corner of the store, but they can offer amazing prices on a variety of items. It won’t help you fill the school list, but you might find items that can be useful in the future.
Lastly, even if you can’t purchase your school and office supplies for close to nothing, remember that most office supply stores do offer free delivery. It makes shopping for supplies easy, quick and almost painless.