Even though it seems like summer vacation just began, schools around the country begin in 4 to 6 weeks, which means only one thing—it is time for back to school sales. You may take advantage of the sales sparingly, but you might want to consider stocking up. There are plenty of ways you can use the back to school sales merchandise besides the obvious—supplying your kids with what they need for school. Consider the following:
- Supply your home office. I can’t stand to buy printer paper for full price. Luckily, during the back to school season, I can stock up on paper to last me through the entire year for my home office. I also stock up on pens and mechanical pencils because they mysteriously disappear throughout the year.
- Back to school teacher’s gifts. Start the year off right by creating a little gift pack for your child’s teacher. You could include school supplies such as pens and post it notes or things like candy and breath mints.
- Sunday school supplies. Check with your local church and see if they have a need for new crayons and other supplies such as scissors and glue.
- A graduation gift. If you know of a graduating high school student who will be heading off to college in the fall, use your stash of discounted back to school goods to make a gift basket. Good products to include are highlighters, staplers (especially the little portable ones), notebooks, pens and hole punchers.
- Create a pack for a needy child. A few years ago, I spent about $100 shopping for my kids’ back to school clothes. The mall was running a promotion where every patron who spent over $100 got a free backpack. I took it even though we didn’t need it and filled it with supplies and donated it to our local elementary school for a needy child whose family couldn’t afford to buy the supplies he needed.
- Christmas gifts. If you have young children at home, you know how much they love coloring, gluing, and cutting. Instead of paying full price to buy these items as gifts for your kids, stock up now for pennies on the dollar and store them until Christmas. Older kids like to make art projects, and you can stock up for those supplies now too.
- Donations. Operation Christmas Child allows people to fill a shoebox with new toys and school supplies to be shipped to children around the world. Take advantage of the many back to school sales to fill a shoebox for nearly free this November and help children in need. If you have your own children, you can teach them about giving to others, especially during the holiday season when kids naturally tend to think more about themselves and what they want.
Back to school sales are a great way to supply your children with the school accessories they need, but there are so many more ways to take advantage of the sales and donate to those around you who are in need as well as saving the supplies for presents for your own children.