The Covid Supply Chain Interruption has now hit back to school items -- making some scarce and others pricey. Money Manager Bill Dendy: " Students are ready to go back to school. Some of them have been out of school for all of last year and part of the year before. They are finding that the notebooks, papers, the pens and markers cost quite a bit more than they did a year and a half ago. "
Dendy says to do your homework with your list because there are bargains out there --- but they are probably not all in the same place. He says the good news is that higher prices and product scarcity are not across the board. "This is the time for a consumer to be more studious as they start making their lists for their school supplies and making sure they are getting the best prices. If not, when they get to the stores, some will find the shelves bare and others will find the prices very high!"
Here are a few ideas that may help with your purchases.
- Check area stores' websites and look for in-store and online sales before buying any supplies.
- If you want your student to use last year's backpack again - start with cleaning it and making "patches" of stickers or your student's own art work. It will be fun for your student and a great way to personalize the bag.
- Some supplies can be carried over from last year - like pencils and pens along with binders and folders and even unused notebook paper.
- Get a reusable water bottle to save on disposable bottles.
- If your student really needs new technology - shop for items on sale, and see if there are stores and non-profits that sell used laptops and notepads.
- Shop office supply places - they often put basic supplies on sale.
- Don't be proud.
- There can be non-profits in your area giving away items and store coupons.
- Resale shops can be filled with all kinds of back-to-school goodies including clothing. If your student balks, find a couple of them outside your area. Your student doesn't want to show up for class wearing a classmate's last year's toss out!