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==== ==== Great offers for back to school items. ==== ====

Every August it is time to buy back to school supplies. You look at the list and wish you did not have to spend the money. It seems like every year your child needs new supplies because last year's are literally worn out. They are ragged or torn and will not work for another year. You probably know the first two secrets to save money, but are you doing them and do you know the other 3? Secret #1 Everyone knows secret #1. Buy on Sale. Most back to school items go on sale at the office stores (Staples, Office Max, Office Depot), major discount stores (Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Target) as well as drug stores (Walgreens, CVS, Rexall, etc.) Watch the sale ads and compare prices. (Do not waste gas going to 3 or 4 stores, choose one or two.) Secret #2 Do you practice secret #2 - buy in bulk? Most people buy computer paper in bulk, so why not buy lined paper and graph paper in bulk too? Guesstimate how many packages of paper you might use this year and buy more while it is on sale. If you over-estimate, it will be good for next year. By the way, pens tend to "get lost." Buy a package of 10 instead of 2. Tip: Keep a tally on your calendar adding more if necessary. In January transfer that tally to the new calendar, and you will be more prepared next August. Secret #3 Choose plastic over paper. If you haven't noticed it, more and more materials are being made with plastic. Buy spiral notepads with plastic covers. The plastic cover will protect the covers from ripping as they are taken in and out of backpacks. Buy plastic folders. Paper folders easily bend and rip inside backpacks from being taken in and out. Plastic folders with pockets will last longer, and can be used next year. Buy plastic dividers for binders. Dividers are constantly pulled on as they are turned. Tabs can rip off paper dividers. The plastic divider will last longer and can be reused next year. (Save the inserts) Buy plastic slash pockets (or a combo divider/pocket). Slash pockets allow handouts to be put into binders until they can be hole-punched. Otherwise they tend to be loose in the backpack and usually get bent or even torn. Save space and money by buying a combination of plastic dividers with slash pockets.

Secret #4 Buy colors or designs over characters. Characters are cute, but they go out of style quickly. Use them for the early grades, but get more realistic as children get older, probably middle school and definitely high school. Secret #5 Buy for practicality and durability. Cheap backpacks will not last more than a year. Textbooks are getting heavier. Save frustration buy better quality and it will definitely last all year, maybe 2-3 years. Binders without locking rings will fall and come apart. Students will also be frustrated trying to put papers back in order. Fabric book covers will last longer than paper, and protect the textbooks so your student is not tempted to doodle on the covers -- possibly costing you money. Buy washable markers - permanent markers do not come out of clothes (or textbooks). Instead of "zipper lock" plastic lunch bags, buy the cheap plastic containers - in case they do not make it home. Help your students make better supply selections this year, and you will reap the benefits of having supplies last longer and save you both shopping time and money.

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==== ==== Great offers for back to school items. ==== ====

5 secrets to buy back to school suppliesand save money.  

Great offers on buying school supplies.