Here’s a mind-boggling number: this year, American families are predicted to spend $540 billion on back-to-school shopping, or roughly the gross domestic product of Belgium. Where will they spend that money? Staples is still coming off a rough breakup after the Federal Trade Commission stood in the way of its proposed merger with OfficeMax, and really hopes that you spend some of your money there. [More]
Our deal-hunting colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports don’t just keep track of which products perform the best in their tests, but they also track prices on items to figure out what’s the best time to buy. What do they say are the best things to buy during the month of August? It’s a great time to pick up an air conditioner, a backpack, a dehumidifier, or a snow blower. Wait, a snow blower? [More]
Buying school supplies can put a pretty significant dent in one’s pocketbook, especially when you don’t have a lot of expendable income to begin with. For teachers who bear the burden of supplying a classroom full of students, Walmart is offering a new discount – but there’s a catch. [More]
The classroom supply closet is nearly empty and so are your pockets. Well, if you’re a K-12 school teacher, don’t worry, your credit union has your back — in the shape of a personal loan. [More]
From knowing when to double down in Blackjack to earning lunch money playing Liar’s Poker, I learned a lot of things in elementary and middle school that weren’t part of the curriculum (and which even now will probably make my mother blush in shame). So maybe Best Buy is just being honest when it advertises dice and decks of playing cards as school supplies.
While it may be too early for some to be doing your back-to-school shopping, it’s the perfect time to look ahead at upcoming sales tax holidays in various states that are targeted at those looking to stock up before it’s back to drooling on the desk during trigonometry.
The second half of summer is “complain about textbook prices” season, and last week the New York Times put together a special section on the topic and asked experts to weigh in. Too many of the contributors just provide an overview of the situation but no solutions; a publishing industry representative actually defends textbook prices as trivial compared to other educational costs. Fortunately Anya Kamenetz, who writes for Fast Company, suggests Flat World Knowledge. And to be fair, the guy who defended textbooks prices suggests CourseSmart for ebook rentals. The Times also asked students, professors and parents to weigh in with advice.
Parents head out to the same stores every year to load up on the same school supplies, so you’d think after their kid reaches sixth grade or so they’d have enough leftovers laying around the house to negate the need to stock up.
While shopping at Office Depot recently, Dave snapped this shot of a sale on an 8-pack of washable markers. The regular price is $3, but knock off the INSTANT SAVINGS of $.01 and you’re left with the absolutely smokin’ deal of $2.99.
School supplies in eight states are tax-free this weekend thanks to sales tax holidays. Hurry though, because the savings expire at the end of the day, unless you live in Washington D.C., where the savings last through August 10. The full list, inside…