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9 Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping

9 Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping

School starts in some Central Oregon school districts very soon. During August, Mid Oregon Credit Union hosts a supply drive called “Supplies 4 Schools“, in all 7 of our branches. Supplies are distributed through FAN in Deschutes and Crook Counties, and to the schools in Jefferson County, Mid Oregon members have always been very generous helping kids be ready for school.

Perhaps you are able to afford to buy supplies for your children, but savings money is still important. Getting kids ready for school is a major expense. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American household spends $688 on back-to-school shopping — 64% of it is spent on clothing and electronics.

9 Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping

Here are a 9 ways to save this fall and throughout the year. At the bottom of this post are links to Central Oregon school districts’ recommended supply lists.

1. Create a checklist of items and stick to it.
Before you begin shopping, empty your kids’ backpacks to see what was left over from the previous year. Mark them off your checklist and then buy only the items still remaining.

2. Consider shopping without the kids.
They’re more likely to fall for the strategically placed items stores want you to buy. Backpacks and notepads with your kids’ favorite superhero or Disney character can be 30% or more expensive than generic kinds. If your children insist they need Dory backpacks, buy stickers and have them decorate their less expensive gear themselves.

3. Comparison shop online before going into stores.
You’ll save on time and gas money.

4. Give your kids a clothing budget and a list of necessities.
You decide what items they must have, then with the remainder of the budgeted money, let them choose what they want.

5. Set up e-mail alerts for sales.
Websites like,, and will let you know when coupons or great deals are available for specific items.

6. Buy school supplies in bulk.
Although you’ll have a large initial expense, in the long run the supplies will be cheaper and you’ll have them on hand for several months.

7. Follow your favorite stores and brands on social media.
You’ll be one of the first to find out when they’re offering deals and special promotions.

8. Go to Garage and Yard sales for clothing.
Websites like,, and are great online resources for finding bargains in your area.

9. Wait until late August or September to buy your school supplies.
That’s when the prices drop significantly. You can even buy for the following year.

Central Oregon School District Recommended Supplies:

Some districts and schools have not yet published lists of school supplies needed. Read this post for the FAN recommended school supplies most needed. Check their websites for more details.

Private School Websites:

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