Budget Better: 11 tricks for saving on back to school supplies

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Saving Money on Back to School Shopping

Back to school shopping can be one of the most exciting, and most stressful, experiences.

There are few things that can get your child pumped up for the upcoming school year more than rummaging through the aisles of shiny new notebooks and highlighters in every color of the rainbow.

SEE ALSO: 15 ways to cut the cost of back-to-school shopping

But as with all shopping adventures, every item adds up and before you know it, you end up with a receipt of purchases longer than your child's summer reading list.

Though buying school supplies every academic year is a necessity, making the experience be an expensive one is not.

Here are our top 11 tips for school supply shopping on a budget:

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Budget Better: 11 tips to save on school supplies shopping
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Budget Better: 11 tips to save on school supplies shopping

#1: Collect miscellaneous supplies from junk drawers, closets, and other spaces around your home before you start shopping.
You'll more than likely find that you already have more supplies lying around than you realize. 

Photo credit: Getty

#2: Head to the dollar store for the most generic items.
There's no such thing as better quality for brand name when it comes to basic necessities like pencils and pens.

Photo credit: Getty

#3: Avoid on-trend and themed items, like pencil cases and notebooks.
Not only will they cost you more, but these items won't hold interest through the years --opt for solid colors and basic patterns.

Photo credit: Getty

#4: Leave the kids at home.
The cardinal rule for saving money at the grocery store applies to school supply shopping as well.

Photo credit: Getty

#5: Apply the hand-me-down principle to sturdy and long-lasting items like backpacks and calculators.
If you've already made the investment, make the most of it.

Photo credit: Getty

#6: Buy the cheapest items you find in bulk.
If certain items are much cheaper than you budgeted for, buy one or two extra if you can spare -- it'll save you money down the road when the price might bump.

Photo credit: Getty

#7: Rent (instead of purchasing full-priced) bigger and more expensive items that will vary from year to year.
Think graphing calculators for specific math classes, textbooks, etc.

Photo credit: Getty

#8: Save items that will always be available for last-minute.
Though items like notebooks and binders may sell out, wait to purchase basic supplies like pencils and paper clips in order to avoid overpaying in the whirlwind of buying all your supplies at once.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

#9: Stick to your list.
Write down exactly what you need, cross of as you go and resist the temptation to deviate.

Photo credit: Getty

#10: Shop at more than one store.
Pick and choose which stores you'll buy certain items at -- it's the only guaranteed way for you to make sure you're getting the best deal on each specific item.

Photo credit: Getty

#11: Don't fall for every bulk deal.
While 10 boxes of pens for a seemingly low price might seem like a great deal, check to see how much you would really be saying per unit -- often, it's only a couple of cents and you end up spending much more up front for more supplies than you need.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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With a little patience and a little research, you can meet all the needs on your child's required list of supplies without worrying about overspending.

Having the right tools and materials to succeed can make all the difference -- both figuratively and literally!

Now, check out these 7 can't-miss back to school deals:

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Best back to school deals
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Best back to school deals
Redesigned Dell Inspiron 3650 i7 Quad-Core Desktop with 16GB RAM $579 (Orig $1102.99) Use code: DELLDT629 to drop the price almost 50% off. If you were waiting to upgrade to the latest and greatest look no further. This uses the current generation of Intel's Skylake processors. What's more it comes with a rare 16GB of RAM and a large 2TB hard drive. A typical desktop would give you half those amounts and likely you would have a processor a tier below. This is one of Dell redesigned desktops and takes up 45% less space and has a modern design that will look good in any office. This is really an incredible deal that we don't see often and if there was need for a desktop then look no further.
Dell Vostro Intel Core i3 Dual-Core Desktop w/ Win 7 Pro for $279 Code: 100VOSTRO (Orig $684.99) Use $100 off Code 100VOSTRO. Finding any computer under $300 is a challenge much less one that is a business class desktop. These make great machines for personal use as it has less bloatware since it is meant to be used in business settings and it is very easy to maintain. For $300 you can do almost anything you need to on this desktop and it includes Windows 7 Pro which is an additional free upgrade you are getting along with a license for Windows 10 Pro to update whenever you like.
Dell XPS 8900 i7 Quad-Core Desktop with 16GB RAM $779 with (Orig $1252.99)  Coupon Code: SBXPS Dell's performance line of XPS desktops are sleek and powerful and give you tons of performance for your buck. They are incredibly versatile. Many use this as their home desktop work machine for its expandability and ability to use multiple displays. This uses Windows 7 Pro which is perfect for workplace compatibility and comes with a license to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro if you need to. If you needed to it has a 480W power supply which can support most middle to lower middle tier video cards and the machine itself has been engineer to be quieter than most desktops.
Sony Vaio Z Canvas Intel Core i7 Quad-Core 12.3" Tablet Laptop Tablet w/ Keyboard $999.99 (Orig $1599.99)  This laptop replacement has a similar 12" size as the iPad Pro but has way more power with a mobile i7 quad-core processor. This laptop tablet is closer to the Microsoft's Surface Pro with its detachable keyboard and included stylus but has enough power to do professional graphics work and fits in your laptop bag. In fact it outperforms almost every tablet or laptop in its weight class easily at only only weighs 2.67 lbs and at this this price it easily beats all comers as well.
Norton Security Deluxe for PC, Mac or Android $19.99 Code SAVE20NOW (Orig $79.99)  Save an extra 50% off with code SAVE20NOW. Norton is a 37-time PCMag Editor's choice award winner to keep your PC or Mac free from viruses, safeguard your online transaction and identity and works faster than the competition. However this doesn't only protect your computer but also any Android or Apple Tablets or iPhones you may own. You can protect up to 5 devices and Norton guarantees it will keep your device virus free or give you a refund.
Dell Inspiron 7559 Gaming Intel i7 Quad-core 1080p 15.6" Laptop w/ GTX 960m $749.99 (Orig $899.99) Use code 50OFF699. This laptop has it all. If you want a powerful laptop that can play games without spending over $1,000 then this is your laptop. It has a powerful 4GB GTX 960m video card which is capable of playing games at 1080p. If you were to buy a gaming laptop maker you would expect to spend over $1,000 easily particularly with a 1920x1080 display. The 7559 is the gaming edition of their popular and Dell's 7000 series laptop and have special gaming design elements. We encourage you to act fast as this is a limited time special price as they are clearing out these laptops for the next generation before schools start.
HP Notebook 15 Intel Core i5 Dual-Core 1080p 15.6" Laptop $459.99 (Orig $559.99) For users looking for a laptop under $500 this the best deal currently available. It features a strong i5 processor and a full HD 1920x1080 display which is not common for a laptop under $500. More importantly the display itself uses a SVA LCD panel which makes for much higher contrast and are excellent if you do word processing and spreadsheets. 
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