Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(M. Spencer Green | The Associated Press) Customers fill the aisles at a Target store in Chicago on Thursday, July 5, 2012, in Chicago. The discount retailer said Thursday that a key revenue measure rose 2.1 percent in June as shoppers spent more on food and health and beauty items. But the growth in revenue at stores open at least one year was slightly lower than the 2.4 percent rise that analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected.
One Cheap Chick: Are you ready already for back-to-school deals?

Although it may seem a little soon, retailers can’t wait

By LESLEY MITCHELL

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jul 14 2012 10:05 pm • Last Updated Oct 30 2012 11:32 pm

It may be weeks before most Utah children head back to school (didn’t they just get out?), but the time to buy supplies starts now.

Discount retailers and office-supply stores have begun offering the best deals of the year on school and office supplies, including several basic items such as pencils and crayons for as little as a penny each. More discounted and below-cost items will be offered weekly, starting today, through mid-September.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Heavily discounted school supplies get shoppers through the door at a time when parents are still watching their spending.

Parents spend on average more than $600 on back-to-school supplies and apparel, according to the National Retail Federation. But in recent years, they have become more savings-conscious. More than 80 percent of people with school-aged children said in a recent survey that the economy will impact their spending plans. Although that’s down from 86 percent last year, it’s still an unusually high level of people preoccupied with cost outlays for their elementary, junior high, high school or college-age children.

The back-to-school sales are a great opportunity to stock up for less. Each year around this time, I purchase most of the office and school supplies my family needs for the next year.

Last week, I stopped by Staples, which kicked off its back-to-school shopping season with crayons, school glue and ballpoint pens for one penny with any $5 purchase, and pencil boxes and mechanical pencils for only 25 cents. The office-supply chain plans on offering similar deals weekly in coming weeks.

If you buy a lot of supplies this time of year, Staples also is offering for $10 a Back to School Savings card that provides a 15 percent discount on supplies the entire season.

The pass also provides a discount on shipping and mailing supplies, reams of paper, cleaning supplies, CDs, DVDs and other items. For more information, go to Staples.com/BacktoSchool.

Office-supply providers OfficeMax and Office Depot also plan to have deals for shoppers. Each week in the Sunday newspaper, the retailers will unveil their bargains.

Other retailers that will offer highly discounted school supplies include Walmart, Target and Shopko. Dollar stores also are worth a visit. Many offer an array of items.


story continues below
story continues below

If you’re a teacher, don’t forget to ask about special programs that apply to you. In August, OfficeMax will offer Teacher Appreciation events, with added discounts on in-store purchases, even on sale items. For more information, go to bit.ly/OyiJu4.

Office Depot has a Star Teacher program, which provides discounts on merchandise and copy and print services, as well as rebates on a variety of purchases. For more information, go to Mystarteacher.com.

And whether you’re a teacher or parent, don’t forget that Target and Walmart stores generally price-match sale items, although back-to-school loss leaders — items priced below cost to attract shoppers — make price-matching a bit trickier.

In the past, I’ve found that some Targets and Walmarts can be reticent to match items priced as little as 1 cent to 5 cents each. They also can be reluctant to price-match items that require a specific spending threshold, such as 1 cent boxes of crayons that require a $5 minimum purchase. But it never hurts to ask, as individual stores have some leeway on price-matching.

When price-matching, I always visit the customer service desk before I go to check out and make sure they’ll honor back-to-school loss leaders.

Not familiar with price-matching? For Walmart’s policy, to Walmartstores.com/10563.aspx. Target’s policy can be found at bit.ly/Lg2IvW.

Lesley Mitchell writes One Cheap Chick in daily blog form at blogs.sltrib.com/cheap.

lesley@sltrib.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/OneCheapChick

Twitter: @cheapchick



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.