Just before school starts, the stores put school supplies on sale at very cheap prices. The kids will usually need most of those sale items at some point. So I purchase the limited number. Sometimes even going back more than once. I fill a tote with these items. And throughout the school year, they can get what they need from the tote. Keeps me from having to run out to make emergency purchases. So I purchase notebook paper at 10 cents a pkg, as many as the limit allows. Folders with/without pockets,and brads. Also 3 and 5 subject spiral notebooks, stock up on these too. Plus colored pencils, crayons, markers, #2 pencils, sharpies, stretchy book covers, erasers, posterboard, Bic pens, all the things that they could possible use.
Then again, when you live in an area (NW Lousiana), clothes for school are uniforms. A girl entering H.S. wants her uniforms from Aeropostle. They had a huge sale at 50% off. This turned out to be the same price for 'average' uniforms from Penney's, so we shopped there. The quality is great and she is happy to be sporting the brand name. You can still bargain hunt and get good deals from the "In" shops.
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