In a former lifetime (at least it seems so), I worked in retail. Spent lots of time in children’s departments and as a buyer for kids’ clothes. (In fact my office door sign said, “Buyer, Boys 4–7,” which sounds pretty strange when you think about it.) So I have lots of back-to-school sale memories (or nightmares).
One of the critical elements of back-to-school is the loss-leader. Loss leaders are items sold below cost in order to lure you into the store. Once there, the retailer hopes you’ll buy tons of other things at regular prices so they can make money on you.
Right now you can get crazy cheap deals on all types of school supplies:
- Notebooks for 17¢
- Glue sticks for 25¢
- 8-pack of Bic pens for 25¢
- 8-pack of pencils for 47¢
- 10-pack of Crayola markers for 97¢
- Pack of index cards for 29¢
- Backpacks for as low as $6.88
You can find more loss leaders for major stores at the Passion for Savings site. The reason for telling you this is not simply so you can stock up for your kids this fall, although there is nothing wrong with that.
It’s to suggest that you use this opportunity to bless others. Pick up a backpack or two and fill it/them with supplies. If you have kids, let them choose the supplies to pack a backpack for a child their age. Then drop it off at a shelter or school or mission in your area. You can give a child or two a great start to the school year with your simple gift.
And thanks to the retail loss leaders, it doesn’t even have to be a big loss from your wallet.