NewsSmart Shopper


Saving money on back-to-school supplies

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 21:31:57-04

The Consumer Price Index is up more than 9% over the last year. That is a broad measure of goods and services that means the business of going back to school will likely cost you more, too. However, ABC15’s Katie Raml found some ways to save while checking out the shelves stocked for the school rush.

The past two years have been unusual with so many schools doing virtual classes. So, the supplies collected were far less than normal. Now, as most students return to the classroom, teachers are in desperate need to fill their supply closets.

Consumer expert Julie Ramhold with says parents can still save — even while buying more supplies at higher prices — by buying in bulk and splitting the order with other parents. There are also the perks of cash-back apps.

“If you’re looking to save money, in general, check cash-back apps. Things like Rakuten are really great for shopping both in-store and online. And, it may not seem like much, but if you’re buying a lot, that cash back really can add up over time,” Ramhold said.

Raml walked through the aisles of a Walmart on Bell Road in Phoenix with their store manager to find deals and discounts parents can get right now.

Walmart offers several "rollback" deals you should take advantage of on your shopping trips. They said about 100 items are under $1 and many start out at a quarter.

They even have something called a “loss leader” — something that gets you in the store with the hopes you shop for other things, but the company is taking a loss on those items.

One of the most helpful things Walmart does is offer school lists right on your phone.

Other ways to save:

  • Check store deals online: Staples offers discounts and other deals for rewards members
  • Target offers teachers and students special discounts, including 15-20% off a one-time purchase
  • Search for discount school supply stores that may offer lower prices on items and total order discounts