questionsdo you buy your family's back to school supplies…

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No, not online. But I don't take the kids with me for a one day shopping trip, either. (They really don't care to go and its easier for me this way.) I keep their lists with me and pick up stuff as I find deals. I usually check the Sunday paper for the big store ads and make a few stops within the week. Over several weeks before school starts, most of the stuff they need goes on sale somewhere.

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@pitamuffin: So they don't mind if you don't get the coolest pencil box or the trapper keeper with the hippest boy band on it? Maybe you still let them pick stuff like that out, but not in one big trip.

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The few places I've looked online don't have great prices. (Amazon has some ridiculously expensive prices, actually.)

What I've found is that stores lure people in with amazing deals on some items (1 cent notebooks if you spend $5, Crayolas for a quarter, etc.) expecting that people will stay and buy more stuff there.

Plus, big box stores often have lists from local schools of what the kids need.

And also, those lists can be LONG and very specific. It's probably faster to go to a store or two than to search everything out online.

I bought and filled a backpack for a high schooler this year. I didn't have time to go where the absolute lowest prices were, but I got very good deals that I supplemented with some online purchases.

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My daughter is a high school freshman this year. I went to Wal-Mart for her supplies because here in the backwoods of Mississippi, that's pretty much the only option. Sure, I could drive 30 miles to the nearest Office Depot and Target, but that would pretty much nullify the savings.

Since she's in high school her list was easy. They didn't have a list, the teachers just want the students to be prepared. So I got tons of pencils, pens, notebooks, binders and filler paper. I used a $50 gift card I got at work and I'll probably have supplies leftover for next year.

I limited most of her stuff to the basics, but I did let her splurge and pick out a pretty daily planner, some neon colored pens, and a couple other things that weren't exactly necessary but she liked all the same. I did draw the line at the One Direction pencil case, however.

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@bsmith1: Well, both of mine are boys, so yes they would mind if I DID get folders with the hippest boy band on them! I've done this long enough now that I know to get plain, boring folders and notebooks -- that is what they want.