With so much going on in your life at the end of August, it’s easy to lose track of time and find yourself scrambling to check off items on your child’s school supply list. If the first day of school has come and gone, there are some easy ways to get what you need quickly, and get ahead of the game for next year.

Clear Out the Clearance Aisle

Most retailers overstock on school supplies toward the end of summer, which normally leaves them with extra merchandise by the time school starts. That means that all their left over supplies are likely to end up tagged as clearance merchandise, and subject to a hefty discount. Grab everything you can from clearance bins, aisles or marked with a clearance label so you can get what you need without paying full price. When full price is the only option, look for discounts like a Yoox coupon from DiscounTrue.

Stock Up On Essentials

Notebook paper, number 2 pencils, pens, pink erasers, and colored pencils will never be absent from a school supply list. Stock up on these items while clearance prices are in effect so you’ll be a few steps ahead when back-to-school season rolls around again. As an added bonus, you’ll have surplus stock on hand if one of your kids runs out during the school year.

Buy Reusable

Backpacks, pencil pouches and boxes, laptop sleeves, and sturdy binders can all be reused. Rather than chasing these down every year, buy durable products that will last through several school years. Very durable choices may even survive being used by more than one child before they finally stop being viable.

Office Supply Stores

Some major retailers only stock up on everything you’ll need for the few weeks surrounding back-to-school time. If you’re way behind, take a trip to an office supply store to find those non-standard items that are still taunting you from the school supply list. You’re likely to pay a little more this way, but if it’s a very important item it’s better to have it at a mark-up than to go without.

Enlist Support

You can’t go everywhere and see every retailer’s stock, so reach out to friends and family in the area. Ask them to keep an eye out for certain items you’re having trouble finding. If necessary, make additional school supply lists for your friends who don’t have kids.

Back-to-school shopping is the bane of every child’s summer, but it shouldn’t be yours. Just because you fell a little behind this year doesn’t mean your kids will have to go without a necessary item. All you have to do is refine your plan of attack, and get ready for next year.

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