Back-to-school season is so bittersweet, isn’t it? I hate that summer is ending but I’m also at that point in the break where I’m starting to crave some structure to this free-for-all we call life right now. One thing is for sure: it’s time to start prepping for the new school year. Don’t wait until the week before school starts to freak out over what the kids still need. (Been there, done that. Not pretty.)
We’ve made a nice dent in our shopping list already and I’ve partnered with Raise to share my #1 top tip to save money (because this time of year can be SO expensive) pretty much everywhere you shop.
Where Do You Shop for Back-to-School Supplies?
So where do you shop for school supplies? I like to get a much done in one fell swoop as possible because running all over the place is not my idea of a good time. For clothing we do pretty well at Kohl’s for both kids. I often end up grabbing a few things at Target too, because who can resist Target with that Starbucks right inside the door calling your name? Not me.
But I have to tell you, I found some SERIOUSLY good prices on supplies at Kmart. And that’s not even my savings tip! But it sure didn’t hurt.
Save On Everything You Buy With Raise
Okay, tip time. Here we go: I save almost everywhere I shop for back-to-school by using Raise. Not familiar with Raise? You are missing out so let’s get you in the loop.
Raise.com is an online marketplace for buying and selling gift cards. People who have gift cards that no longer want them/can’t use them sell them on Raise.com for a discounted price. They’d rather have the cash, and I’d like to be able to scoop up the savings. Win-win. (Side note: If you have a gift card living in your wallet that you know you’ll never use, sell it! I’ve cashed in several and it’s SO easy.)
Create your Raise account which is totally free and very easy. Then search for the places you shop. They literally have THOUSANDS of discounted gift cards to choose from including Kmart which I scooped up.
Start with $5 for FREE
When you create a new Raise.com account through this link, you’ll be given a $5 credit in your account. That’s $5 you can go spend on an already-discount gift card and save even more. Nice!
You know you are going to be hitting at least one store to grab the kids some back-to-school items, so don’t miss out on the additional savings. Remember, these are gift cards, not coupons. So if you also have a coupon you can throw that in the mix at check out and save even more. Savings on top of savings is my cuppa tea.
Our Kmart Shopping Trip
Back to school shopping is always a treat for the kids. Who doesn’t like fun new office supplies? I mean…school supplies. Right. School supplies. 😉
Kmart has a great selection and really good prices. We found a big area toward the front of our store dedicated to back-to-school supplies. The kids grabbed some folders, notebooks, pencil cases, and LOTS of mechanical pencils. (Are my kids the only ones obsessed with them?)
Back near the office supplies section of the store we found some fun locker accessories for my daughter. She got a little mirror and white board, and I got each of the kids one of these colorful magnetic white boards. We’re going to put weekly schedules on them in an effort to stay more organized this year. One can dream, friends.
If the kids need school bags or lunch bags there’s a nice selection of them, too. Check the luggage and travel section for some additional stock. Don’t forget some fall clothing and lunch packing supplies like containers, thermoses, ice packs, and snacks, of course!
This is the haul we came home with. I think we should be in pretty good shape to start the school year!
The kids were happy to plop down on the living room floor and sort through all of their new goodies and put them in their school bags. And this mama is pretty thrilled that I’ve crossed all of this off of my list.
When we checked out I just opened my Raise app on my phone, pulled up my Wallet on the app, and found the Kmart gift cards that I got at a discount on. The cashier entered the gift card numbers and boom, everything was paid! So easy, and I love that I had already saved money before I even walked in the door by buying those gift cards from Raise.
Start Saving Money with Raise
My favorite way to use Raise is with their free app. I love this thing. When I shopped at Kmart I literally didn’t have to print anything or use my computer at all. I did it all from my phone from buying the discounted gift cards to redeeming them at the cash register.
The Raise app is free and available in iTunes and the Google Play store. Not only is it convenient to use, but I really like the Wallet feature that lets you get to your gift cards quickly AND shows you exactly how much you’ve saved. When you start to see that number add up it’s pretty cool.
The generous folks at Raise want you to see how easy it is to use their marketplace. Truly, SO easy. They also offer a 100-day guarantee so you can shop with confidence.
Raise is offering one of my readers a $150 Kmart gift card, too! This giveaway is open to US residents ages 18+ only and will end at 11:59pm ET on August 22, 2016.
Good luck, and happy back-to-school shopping!