Don’t Be Scared of School Supplies List, 8 Tips for Success

Banner of Shopping cart with school supply in front of blackboard.

You and your kids are excited for the start of a new school year. But when you look at the endless school supplies list, you are suddenly filled with dread. 

If not organized and prepared, doing back to school shopping can be expensive, stressful, and chaotic; especially when you have an entourage of littles with you. 

There are many things you can do to prepare for back to school shopping and make it your most successful trip to the store yet. 

Twin Cities Kids Club provides tips and tricks to make you a school shopping professional. Say goodbye to all the stress of back-to-school shopping and hello to fun and efficiency. 

1. Take Inventory of What You Have

Before you even begin your school supplies list or head to the store, it is imperative to take inventory of the school items you already have in your home. You might have a lot of school supplies leftover from last year that you forgot about.

Going through what you currently have will save you money. You might stumble on that box of highlighters and sticky notes that bought for little Jimmy last year. 

Success, now you can mark that off the list, and it didn’t cost you a dime.

Sometimes in the chaotic timeframe that is the start of the school year, we can misplace school supplies. Make it a point to put all unused school supplies together in ONE place for easy access and to keep track. You could put them all in a labeled tote or a particular closet. 

young parents and their daughter are smiling while choosing school stationery in the supermarket.

2. Want Vs. Need

Another tip that can make life a lot easier for you and your kids is to distinguish between things they WANT versus things they actually NEED for school; This makes a huge difference when you are shopping for their school items. 

If the kids realize beforehand what it is that they NEED, they will be less likely to throw a fit at Target over those neon glitter gel pens. 

3. Buy In Bulk

If you know your child is going to need a lot of a particular item throughout the year and its currently on sale, buy in bulk. The best things to buy in bulk are the basics, like pencils, pens, spiral notebooks, because you know they will need them often. 

As mentioned before, you can place all of your bulk school supply items in one space to make it convenient to remember. You can model this organizational habit for your kids and set them up for success in the future. 

You know all of those late-night and last-minute trips you have had to make for school supplies? Those trips will be a thing of the past when you have the essentials stored at home. 

Instead of having to rush to the store for some glue sticks and paper, you can just send your kid to the closet. 

Little girl choosing school supplies with mother in stationery shop

4. Begin Shopping Early

Although most stores have back to school sales at specific times of the summer, if you carry your school supplies list with you, you can use every shopping trip to your advantage. 

There might be sales on backpacks or clothes at different times throughout the summer, while supplies like pencils, folders, and paper might come later. 

When you are on the lookout for school supplies early, not only do you make it a more stress-free shopping experience, it also staggers how much money you are spending. If you buy all their supplies at once, the lump sum can get pretty expensive, especially if you have multiple children. 

If you buy a little here and a little there, it can help ease financial stress at the beginning of the school year. 

5. Take Advantage of Price-Matching

Have you ever gone to buy supplies at one store but you know that you saw them cheaper somewhere else? Utilize the price-match that many stores now offer. 

If you can prove to a customer service employee that you have found that same item cheaper at a different store, with an Ad or something similar, many stores will match that same price; Saving you money and a separate trip. 

Some stores, like Staples, even offer an extra discount on top of the price-match if you have found that identical item cheaper somewhere else.

mother or parent and little girl buying school supplies in store,

6. Clothing Sales and Emails

If your kids are going to need all new wardrobes for the school year, prepare by signing up on the email lists of their favorite clothing stores.

Many times stores like Old Navy, Target, The Children’s Place, and more will notify you of upcoming sales and give you extra coupons and discounts. 

Other stores like H&M, Macy’s, and Kohls give you discounts on future purchases just for signing up with them. Sounds like a great deal and will have you doing a happy dance as you shop for clothes. 

7. Dollar Store Deals

You can always find amazing things at the dollar store. While they do not have the most extensive variety of items known to man, one thing for sure is that they have most of the basics school supplies. 

Calculators can get expensive, as well as staplers, presentation boards, and highlighters. Have no fear; you can find them all at places like the Dollar Tree. 

Unless your kid needs a graphing calculator and on to things like geometry, the dollar store is your best bet for inexpensive calculators and school supplies. 

8. There’s an App For That

When looking at your school supplies list, do some research ahead of time and find out what apps have extra discounts on what you need. 

For example, the Cartwheel App from Target offers extra discounts on items that you can search for on your phone. Most items range from 5% off to 50%. Some rebates are offered exclusively to app holders. 

Other apps like Ebates can get your money back on your back-to-school shopping. If you buy supplies through the app, you can get cashback from stores like Kohl’s, Macy’s, Walmart, and Target. 

Two sisters buying school supplies, satchel, and bag, in store

Have Fun with Twin City Kids Club

Those school supplies lists can be long, and the shopping can be daunting, but now you are equipped with some tricks to make it all go smoothly and save you some money. 

Twin City Kids Club is here to help parents and children alike find fun family activities, and offer tips and tricks to make life a little easier. Check out our website at to join the fun today!  


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