Money-saving tips on school supply shopping

Local News

Most public school students are back in class in less than three weeks.That means back to school shopping is in full swing.

Getting all the supplies your keiki need for school is a project all it’s own.The lists can be lengthy and can cost you a pretty penny.

Leeann Punua has three kids, ages eight, 10 and 12. She stood next to her cart full of the supplies she  had just purchased at Fisher Hawaii and held up her receipt.

“I spent a little over a hundred dollars. Actually that’s why I come to Fisher, it’s very reasonable.”

But she wasn’t done shopping yet.

“I have a few items out there like the cleaning items and stuff I usually just buy them in bulk from Costco. I got the majority, maybe like three or four items I don’t have,” Punua explained.

Alaina Cunningham was shopping for her daughter’s supplies. She said she looks for the best deals online before she comes to the store. 

“This is the second store we’ve been at. We went to a different store already. I expect we’ll spend another hundred dollars here today,” Cunningham said.

Another money-saving tip: Reuse supplies.

“I reuse colored stuff like the pencils and the pens. I try to make sure that I reuse those things and if not I use it in my classroom,” explained Punua who is also a teacher at Kamehameha preschool.

Other items that you can usually recycle are: rulers, composition books, pens, paper clips, staplers, scissors and three-ring binders. Anything that’s not too worn out.

But the key to saving money is starting now.

“Shopping early is important so you’re not scrambling and looking at the last minute and being stuck with whatever is left on the shelf,” Cunningham said.

“Last year, I didn’t start early so I ended up buying it and not coming to like a wholesale place and I probably spent double this to get exactly the things that I got today,” Punua said.

Most public schools have their school supply lists available on their school websites and many stores, like Fisher Hawaii, have their back to school supply sales listed online as well.

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