Niagara Gazette

Features

September 3, 2013

Hit office supply, drug stores for school supply deals

Niagara Gazette — It may be that time of year when parents are cheering their good fortunes, counting the hours in the day they can take back, reveling in the newfound quiet in their homes, but it’s also the time of year when the pocketbook may be taking a big hit.

Going back to school, while perhaps a relief for some parents’ peace of mind, can be a strain on the finances. Between back-to-school clothing, extracurricular activity fees and the seemingly never-ending list of necessary school supplies, some parents might be searching out the best way to save a few bucks here and there.

Tricia Suba, a Lockport mom who runs Tricia’s Frugal Finds, a frugal-living blog, said it’s always best to shop as far in advance as possible when it comes to getting the best deal possible on school supplies.

But if that’s not possible — it’s less than one week before school starts, afterall — or if your high school students don’t even know what supplies to get until the first day of school, there are a few tricks of the trade.

”For last-minute shoppers, obviously the big stores like Walmart and Target will still have reasonable prices on school supplies,” she said. 

”A lot of people may overlook the drug stores they will run deals right up until school,” she added.

Drug stores like Rite-Aid, CVS and Walgreens are also known for putting school supplies on sale periodically throughout the school year. Rewards programs available at all three chains — in which customers get a coupon to spend at the store at a future date — can make the items cheap or even free.

On a weekly basis, Suba details ways in which customers can use coupons in conjunction with drug store sales to save the most money and earn the most rewards. But don’t stop checking those drug store ads even if you’ve done all your shopping for this year.

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