Stretch your dollar on backpacks and supplies

ASTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Kids are gearing up for back-to-school and they need more than just pens and pencils. Many also need backpacks which can run you quite a bit of money. News 8 talked to a mom who’s bought a lot of supplies over the years, made a few mistakes and is now passing on the dos and the donts!

Sarah O’Brien is a mom of two and once learned the hard way what happens when you back to school shop last-minute.

“It was cleared out, the bins were empty,” she said.

Now she shops early and has figured out how to stretch her dollar starting with what she allows her kids to pick out.

“I do make sure I’m the one picking out the school supplies because there are a lot of different colors and characters and it can get expensive,” O’Brien explained.

But she lets her kids pick their own backpack. It’s because that’s the one item she doesn’t mind spending more on. She just wants them to last and fit comfortably.

“One of the things that’s important is to have a padded set of shoulder straps. As your kids get older they have a lot of stuff that needs to be taken to school and these backpacks get really heavy.”

Younger kids need a bag big enough to fit a folder and lunch. For older kids, look for bags with compartments to protect electronics. Stores want you to buy your backpack from them which is why you should look for deals that come bundled with a backpack purchase.  She bought a backpack at Staples this year and , you would get an additional 25% off all of your school supplies.

The classroom supplies are generic and in bulk. Sometimes she’ll trade with other moms who shop in bulk.  Another tip, most store flyers come out on Thursdays. It’s a good idea to get a bunch of them, compare to see where the best deals are and go early before other shoppers scoop up the merchandise this weekend.

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