Back-to-School Savings Aren't Just for Kids

by Kimberly Button

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If you're a savvy shopper, you know that August doesn't just signal the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year but a complete change in inventory for major retailers, as well. Back-to-School savings might be targeted towards the needs of children, but everyone can take advantage of these amazing markdowns. The following are the items you'll definitely want to stock up on during these end-of-summer sales for savings that you will enjoy the whole year through.

Clothing and Shoes - The start of the school year always means the end of retailers selling summer apparel. Even if the temperature outside shows no signs of dropping, retailers are desperate to unload any piece of clothing that looks like it could be worn during warmer months. Not only will you find remarkable savings on clothing and shoes, but essentials such as socks and underwear will also be on sale. Many states have a tax-free weekend when the new school year begins during which time clothing and shoes are exempt from a sales tax. Though this incentive is for families to save money on their children's clothing for the school year, anyone can buy apparel and receive the extra discount.

Paper, Pens, and Office Supplies - There is no better time in the year to purchase the items you need for your home office than during Back-to-School savings events. For instance, during Back-to-School sales, packs of lined paper are usually sold for 25 cents while the same pack of paper can cost $2 during the rest of the year. Pens, paperclips, binders, mailing labels, and envelopes will all be marked down to their lowest price of the year. There will also be amazing deals on computers and computer software if you're in need of an updated system. If your state has a tax-free weekend, many office supply items and computers are usually included in the exemption of sales tax.

Coolers - Though considered a summer item, coolers can be put to good use any time during the year. Put one in the back of your car to store perishable items after a trip to the grocery store or stock one full of food for your next family vacation. Every family should have at least one cooler for use in a power failure to store frozen foods that would otherwise become rotten in the freezer.

Storage Containers - Back-to-School time is one of the best times to buy storage containers when the selection is plentiful and the prices are cheap. Retailers are targeting students heading off to college, but you'll want to stock up to store toys, family mementos and other objects that can become clutter when not properly stored.

Sheets - If you have a twin, double or full size bed, now is a great time to purchase sheets, comforters and bedding sets. Sheets are also cheap ways to create curtains, table cloths and slipcovers if you're in the process of decorating a home. Because new college students need to stock up on bedding for their dorm rooms, you'll find great prices and lots of selection in the stores.

Beach Accessories and Sporting Equipment - Though lawn games, beach balls, and swimming apparel go on clearance in August, most people in the U.S. are still able to enjoy outdoor activities for a couple more months. Buy a badminton set or a sand pail for the kids to play with after school instead of watching TV. Better yet, stock up on unique items for Christmas presents. A croquet set is a fun gift for the person who has everything and kids will be delighted with a collection of rafts, beach balls, and goggles for the family winter vacation to Florida or the Caribbean.

Pots and Plants - Gardening supplies always go on clearance at the beginning of the school year, but even a novice gardener knows that you can enjoy plants indoors all year round. Stock up on pots, soil, and fertilizers so you can enjoy having a green thumb throughout the year or buy extra potted plants to give as gifts for birthdays, housewarmings, and hostess presents in the upcoming weeks.

Outdoor Furniture - Just because summer is over doesn't mean you still can't enjoy time in your backyard. Patio dining sets, benches, and weatherproof lamps are all on sale but can still be enjoyed during the autumn months. Stock up on BBQ accessories, too, if you want to enjoy grilled meals all year round because it's tough to find charcoal briquettes in the middle of February.

Kimberly Button has written for numerous magazines and newspapers for over a decade. She is author of The Disney Queue Line Survival Guidebook. Are you tired of paying high prices for theme park tickets only to wait in long lines? The Disney Queue Line Survival Guidebook will help you maximize your travel dollars and magically transform the time you must wait in lines at the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks into a fun and entertaining experience for the whole family. For more information, visit

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