back-to-school supplies, including scissors, pens, ruler, and notebookIt’s that time of year — summer is fleeting, and the back-to-school sales are on! 

I’m a saver in many ways, and “back to school” is one of my favorite stock-up seasons. I maximize my budget every year by taking advantage of sales and end-of-season specials, and this time of year is one not to miss. 

Here are some of my favorite things to stock up on in the fall!

Crayons, markers, colored pencils, and notebooks

It’s always shocking to me how much cheaper these items are during back-to-school season than other times of the year. I use this opportunity to buy plenty of crayons, markers, colored pencils, and notebooks, and I use them for birthday gifts, holiday gifts, party favors, and to swap out the old supplies in the middle of the year. 

Sheets, blankets, and pillows

Back-to-school season also applies to college students, and that opens a whole different door for items to stock up on. Historically, for our family, this has been the best time for us to purchase basic bedding items like sheets, blankets, and pillows. 

Bathroom staples

For whatever reason, September is an awesome time to stock up on bathroom staples like shampoo, conditioner, razors, shaving cream, and toothpaste. Often, you can combine the sale prices with manufacturers’ coupons and get some excellent deals!

Tissues, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer

Since teachers usually request these items, they are frequently on sale before the school year begins. Back-to-school season is synonymous with germ season, so it’s an excellent time to stockpile!

Leftover summer staples

At the end of the summer, I try to take inventory of the staple items we are in need of for next year or for an upcoming warm weather vacation — think fans, bathing suits, water shoes, BBQ supplies, and garden tools. Sometimes you can even find big-ticket items like grills and lawnmowers for a good price!


There are two kinds of furniture to shop for in the fall — leftover patio furniture that will be on clearance and basic dorm/apartment furniture. If you’re looking to refresh your teen’s bedroom, now is definitely the time!

Packaged snacks

If you have enough space to store them, packaged snacks are always on sale at this time of year. Look for back-to-school classics like peanut butter and jelly, chips, granola bars, fruit cups, juice boxes, pudding, and fruit snacks. (Looking for snack ideas for yourself? Try these!)

Even if you don’t have a ton of storage space, consider swapping out things like sheets and art supplies that may need a refresh. May the force be with you to go forth and find some sweet deals!


Chelsey Weaver
Chelsey is a "central Mass" girl who married her 7th-grade sweetheart. She attended both undergraduate and graduate school in Boston, then taught high school on the North Shore for seven years. After living in Winchester and Melrose for several years (and moving too many times), she and her husband finally settled in Groveland in 2015. She loves the North Shore and everything it has to offer, and she enjoys raising her daughter there. Chelsey is the community engagement coordinator for Boston Moms and is mostly a stay-at-home mom. She spends lots of time advocating for children with disabilities, arguing with insurance companies, and looking for disabled influencers, inclusive companies, and materials that celebrate neurodiversity. She avidly listens to audiobooks, hates everything about coffee, and, most importantly, loves being a mom.