1. Tax Holiday- If possible, buy supplies during your state's sales tax holiday. Be sure to check the state's website for an accurate list of what is taxable and what is not on the holiday.
Think outside the box. You may be able to purchase things tax-free now that you will need later.
2. Think ahead- You are going to need more notebook paper, pencils or lead refills. Buy them now while they are on sale and stash them away until Spring.
3. Consider the electives- Ask your art teacher or PE teacher for their wish list. You may find items on sale that they can use. (Elementary art teachers can always use markers. Now is the best time to find them on sale.)
4. Christmas- Yes, Christmas! While you are out browsing the sales, look for items that may be good stocking stuffers. Your toddler may not be in school, but she'll love some colorful washable markers in her stocking. Buy them now and save them.
You can also look for things that are tax free during your state's tax holiday! Remember, computers are usually included!
5. Empty shelves- Everyone is shopping for the same items. Sometimes this means they are all out when you arrive.
Remember to check office supply stores, too. One year for Kindergarten, I searched high and low for safety scissors. Office Depot was the only place that had them.
6. Don't stress- If you can't find every item on the supply list, focus on the basics. You can get the rest later. Laura Ingalls turned out just fine using a slate board.
If your kid doesn't have every single item in her backpack the first day of school, I'm pretty sure the teacher won't send her home.
And, if she does, remind her of that when it comes time for end-of-year teacher gifts.
Oh, I kid.
Check Kristen's blog for more great tips!