How to utilize sales to combat inflation

Even though the price of gas is dropping and there has been some relief for families, inflation is still remarkably high. The cost of everyday items, such as pens, markers, glue, tape, sneakers and other essentials, is considerably more than it was last year at this crucial time. Purchasing back-to-school supplies has been elevated from a chore to a burden in many homes.

While it is possible to absorb some of the costs by cutting back in other areas, that is not an ideal strategy. It is better to look for sales because that means you will actually be spending less, not just creating hardships in other areas of your budget.

What is inflation?

Understanding the difference between price and inflation is similar to realizing that daily weather is not climate change. Inflation happens on a large scale. If avocados are in short supply or in high demand, the price will climb. However, just because the price of avocados rises does not mean there is inflation. This is because, at the same time, the cost of other items may go down to maintain an overall balance.

In many ways, inflation works like a see-saw: one end of the see-saw is the cost of things, and the other end is wages. When you add weight to one end, say the cost-of-living increases, you must balance that out by increasing wages. However, to pay for increased wages, the price of things must go up. So it’s a constant progression of rising prices and rising wages that keeps the see-saw balanced.

Why is inflation so high right now?

Normally, inflation is a gradual progression. The cost of things inches up, and wages increase similarly to maintain balance. However, there are times when something happens, and the effect is like dropping an anvil on one end of the see-saw. It disrupts everything and creates chaos and we have to struggle to regain balance.

Looking back over the past couple of years, we can find many disruptive factors that helped create our current situation. Covid-19 brought the world to a halt. People stopped going to restaurants and supporting live entertainment, manufacturing plants shut down, supply chains fractured, there was a demand for higher wages, a war broke out in Eastern Europe and more. All of these events culminated in creating the inflation we are experiencing at the moment.

The cost of school supplies has risen drastically

Oddly enough, one of the hardest hit areas is school supplies. While some items have only experienced a nominal price increase, other essentials, such as tape and writing implements, have gone up substantially since 2021. According to the National Retail Federation, the total expected spending for back-to-school supplies has risen 11 billion dollars since 2019. Families are cutting back on other areas to prioritize their back-to-school spending.

The savvy shopper can find relief right now

The good news is ripples decrease in power the further they travel. We are already seeing signs that the economy is striving for a balance, so relief might not be too far off. Taking advantage of sales can be the strategy that helps get you through the tail end of this unpleasant financial strain. This is especially true with essentials, such as back-to-school supplies.

12 back-to-school deals to help balance your budget

Here are some back-to-school deals that can help keep your personal finances balanced this fall while inflation slows.

Best Staples One-Subject Notebook

Staples One-Subject Notebook 

Even if you aren’t returning to school, these one-subject notebooks are a great buy. Each has 70 spiral-bound sheets of wide-ruled paper with a durable cardstock cover, making them perfect for jotting down ideas. Sold by Staples

Best Paper Mate EverStrong #2 Pencils

Paper Mate EverStrong #2 Pencils 

There are 144 wood-cased pencils in this set, making up six packs of 24. That’s enough for a student to get through several years of school. The pencils have reinforced lead and latex-free erasers. Sold by Amazon

Best Staples Two-Pocket Presentation Folders with Fasteners

Staples Two-Pocket Presentation Folders with Fasteners

Presentation folders give you quick access to your work. These waterproof, tear-resistant folders are available in various colors so you can create your own organizational system. They also feature fasteners to secure your papers. Sold by Staples

Best Expo Vis-a-Vis Wet Erase Markers

Expo Vis-a-Vis Wet Erase Markers

You can use this box of 36 wet erase markers on whiteboards, laminated sheets, storage containers and other nonporous surfaces. The fine point allows for detailed writing and you can easily remove the ink with a damp cloth. Sold by Amazon

Best Tru Red 3 x 5 Index Cards

Tru Red 3 x 5 Index Cards 

Index cards are a study essential for nearly every grade. The 100 lined-ruled cards in this pack have blank backs for drawing. Sold by Staples

Best Post-it Flags

Post-it Flags

Post-it flags are slightly different from Post-it notes. They allow you to quickly highlight important information without writing it in the textbook or on a document. These brightly colored study tools come with 80 Post-it flags in a dispenser, and two dispensers are in each pack. Sold by Amazon

Best Staples School Permanent Glue

Staples School Permanent Glue

Staples’ school glue is a non-toxic, permanent white glue suitable for porous and semi-porous surfaces, such as paper, wood, ceramics and more. It comes in a 4-ounce container and is washable. Sold by Staples

Best Paper Mate Ballpoint Pens

Paper Mate Ballpoint Pens

This box of 120 ballpoint pens will ensure you have enough ink to last for years. The pens have a thick barrel for easy gripping and the ultra-low viscosity ink delivers a smooth writing experience. Sold by Amazon

Best Crayola Crayons

Crayola Crayons

Crayons are one of the few school items that seem impervious to inflation. However, they still go on sale, which makes them an even better bargain. This box has 24 vibrant, nontoxic crayons. Sold by Staples

Best Bic Brite Liner Highlighter

Bic Brite Liner Highlighter

You want your highlighter to be bold and bright. These markers from Bic are exactly that. The chiseled tip allows for broad underlining, and the fluorescent pink ink makes all highlighted areas stand out. They are non-toxic and can last up to 8 hours without a cap. Sold by Amazon

Best Staples Block Erasers

Staples Block Erasers

The best erasers are soft, so they don’t tear your paper. These pink wedge erasers are gentle on paper and allow you to remove mistakes without damaging the page. Sold by Staples 

Best Bic Gel-ocity Quick Dry Black Gel Pens

Bic Gel-ocity Quick Dry Black Gel Pens

Gel pens are a step up from normal ink pens. They are smooth, quick-drying writing implements that can make homework fun. These retractable models have a medium point and a full-length grip for comfort. Sold by Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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