Whether you're looking for back to school backpacks, home office supplies, or equipment for your small business, shopping online makes it easy to find what you need at at prices that should fit your budget - without ever leaving home, or the office.
First, keep in mind the supplies you use the most. Whether it's paper, printer ink, or post-it notes, remember to shop the sales or buy in bulk.
Stay a step ahead of the game by signing up for consumer newsletters offered at Staples, Best Buy, Office Max, or Office Depot for alerts on when these major retailers feature sales blowouts to clear the shelves for newer merchandise.
If you're in the market for school supplies, computers or printers, you'll find many stores offering sales at great savings in June (for graduate or Father's Day gifts); in late August and September during back to school Labor Day sales; as well as at Christmas and after Christmas sales in December.
If you're a frequent shopper, also take advantage of discounts by enlisting in customer reward card programs offering additional savings throughout the year. As usual, keep an eye out for comparison shopping sites to find the best prices, along with coupons and discount codes for additional savings at checkout.
Small businesses look to save money by joining buyer groups. Similarly, neighborhood families may also often band together to shop Sam's Club and Costco to save big on school supplies. Note, however, that it may be cheaper and more convenient to shop online rather than having to drive to the bulk discount stores, since online stores will throw in free delivery depending on the amount you spend.)
At the mall, shop off the beaten path at craft stores and supermarkets. The dollar store is also a great place to find cheap pens, pencils, crayons, and other items for back to school. Just be sure to look for brand names you recognize, say the experts, since you'll only end up buying more of the cheaper stuff when it breaks, runs out, or otherwise doesn't live up to the same quality as national brands.
More about buying office & school supplies online:
Save Money on Office Supplies - Check out advice on when and where to shop, including related guides to essential items, how to avoid office supply shopping scams, and tips on office supply tax deductions.
How to Save Money on Back-to-School Supplies - Saving for Dummies, with tips on shopping the sales, getting the kids involved, making a list of what you may already have, reusing or recycling old supplies, and other simple tricks for saving big for back to school.