Ever since I was a kid, I loved back-to-school season. It meant a new backpack, a fresh set of school supplies and reconnecting with old school friends. Then I became a teacher and I traded in my backpack for a briefcase and school supplies for teacher supplies. But never once did I dread back-to-school shopping. Until I became a mother of two. Then it all changed. As much as I wanted to buy all the coolest school supplies for my kids, I had to be realistic and stick to a budget. This year isn't any different. However, I am taking advantage of some great sales that I happened across while browsing RetailMeNot.ca.
With the hopes of sharing my savings journey with you, my readers, RetailMeNot.ca provided me with a back-to-school shopping spree as well as some savvy spending tips from Sandra Hanna, Smart Cookie and RetailMeNot.ca spokesperson. Below, I highlight my three favourite tips.
Cheapest Isn't Always Best
When it comes to items your kids will use all year round, like backpacks, it pays to invest in quality. Think about price for longevity and factor that into your cost comparison. However, don’t forget that you can still find a great deal on a high quality backpack for about $40, especially if you stack your savings. Doing a quick search on sites like RetailMeNot.ca will help you find promo codes for some of your favourite retailers and brands, saving you a few dollars on that backpack.
Keeping this tip in mind, I knew I wanted to invest in a quality pencil sharpener for my office. I teach over 150 students on a daily basis and often keep extra pencils and pencil crayons on hand whenever they need them. I also keep a manual sharpener both those never seem to last. Nope. I wanted a heavy duty electric sharpener and preferably one that didn't result in the loss of precious decibels. Luckily, through RetailMeNot.ca., I came across some back-to-school savings up to 75% at Amazon.ca and found just what I needed - an X-ACTO Quiet Electric Pencil Sharpener at 20% off. Reading the reviews I was confident that it was a good investment. In addition, I found an amazing deal on my favourite brand of pencil crayons - PRISMACOLOR Scholar Art Pencils at 63% off! I plan to share these with my daughter who is an art fanatic and loves to draw. These quality pencil crayons will be perfect for her. I also grabbed some nifty Sharpie pens at 37% off. Because a teacher can never have enough pens. In total, I spent just over $112 at Amazon.ca and got free shipping, which amounts to almost $80 in savings.
Deals Aren't Just For the Kids
Despite 43 per cent Canadians feeling back-to-school can be a financial burden, the shopping season can also bring a ton of sales! While you're stocking your kids up for the school year, don't forget to take advantage of the lowest prices of the year on computers and other office equipment. If you're in the market, now is the time to save on that new laptop you've been eyeing from top retailers like Best Buy.
On my personal list of back-to-school must-haves is a new pair of runners. Not so much for running but rather to slip into on those days when I need to kick off my heels. I teach à la carte which means I am always on the go, walking up and down flights of stairs and room to room. Luckily, I found a deal at Reebok through RetailMeNot.ca. I found a pair of Women's Reebok Crossfit Nano for almost half price. These will also be perfect for our after school bootcamp that some of the teachers participate in at my school.
Share Your Shopping
Forty-four per cent of Canadian parents agree back-to-school shopping is stressful, so why not share the stress and costs? You can save money by buying school supplies in bulk especially if you split the cost with another parent. Compare shopping lists with friends and neighbours to see what you both need. By buying in bulk at stores like Costco and splitting the cost, you can save money for the more expensive items.
This is such a great idea. I don't have a membership at Costco, though, so if anyone wants to take me shopping...
And on a final note to my teacher friends, you may have noticed the deal on RetailMeNot.ca highlighting Teacher Appreciation Days on September 3 and 12. Save 15% on most in-store purchases and for the first time save 10% off all in-store electronics purchases. And don't forget your free gift!
As if finding all these deals in one place wasn't good enough, RetailMeNot.ca has offered to give away a $100 Visa gift card to one lucky reader. Simply complete the Rafflecopter form below. Open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I am participating in the #SpendToSave Back-to-School campaign with RetailMeNot.ca and have received special perks. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.