August Sales – Big Savings on School Supplies, More

Posted by on Jul 19, 2015 in Frugal For Everyone, Product Information | 49 comments


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos

One of the easiest ways I know to cut costs is to buy at the right time. Every month offers sales on a variety of products and August is no different. Of course, much of the August focus will be on back to school supplies, but since this also takes in the college/university crowd the savings opportunities are tremendous.

Before I go any further, I have a favour to ask. If you are reading this on a mobile device, and if you have the time, would you be kind enough to let me know what device you’re using and how the blog/post shows up on it? Is it easy to navigate and read? Do you see the comments? Could it be improved? Thanks so much, really appreciate all help.

 Now on to the sales – Back to School Supplies:

  • There will be huge savings on paper (watch Walmart – in the past their three-ring notebook paper was almost a give-away), binders, pens, pencils, markers, and all other necessary supplies;
  • Backpacks;
  • Lunch boxes, Cold packs, Thermos and Reusable sandwich/snack containers;
  • Jeans, jackets and other wardrobe basics (underwear, socks, etc.);
  • Sneakers;
  • Uniform requirements (shirts, ties, and more). 
  • Sales

    Image courtesy of Iamnee at

Sales on Dorm Supplies:

  • There will be great sales on bedding, but mostly the twin size. You can expect to find savings on mattress protectors, sheets, blankets and pillows;
  • You’ll also be able to find really good deals on towels, all sizes;
  • Small appliances – Coffee makers, Kettles, Microwaves, Toasters/Toaster Ovens, all the kind of small stuff you expect to find in a dorm room;

You will be able to find some of the best buys of the year on computers, tablets and printers. It will definitely be worth your while to check Consumer Reports Computer Buying Guide before you head to the store or the online shop.

Here, however, are a couple of tips I can give you based on my own experience:

  • If you need a laptop or other computer, why not check out a refurbished one? The savings can be in excess of 50% AND you help the environment through recycling.
  • The above also holds true for printers. Used and refurbished are NOT the same thing. Refurbished products must meet certain standards. If you buy from an outlet with a good reputation you really can’t go wrong. Check to see if the product comes with a warranty. The other point to make about printers is: Do Not Buy Cheap. I have two printers, one I paid quite a lot for and the second one is a cheapie purchased just for convenience. The print cartridges for my good printer last a long time plus I can buy compatible print cartridges for it at Amazon for a very low price. The cheapie one uses up a pile of ink, the cartridges are very expensive and I can’t find compatible ones. Needless to say that one doesn’t get used very much. So be careful – where you may save on the cost of the unit, you will more than pay for through the price of the ink.
  • The third tip: Don’t worry about buying a computer that doesn’t have Windows 10 installed on it yet. Microsoft will be offering upgrades to Windows 10 free of charge. Right now my name is on a waiting list and as soon as it is available, Microsoft will let me know.
  • Sales

    Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at

Another area to look for savings is at the SPA. They could very well be offering back to school sales. They have come to realize that for many people stress is associated with the big change of leaving home for school. If your college-bound student is getting stressed out at leaving home, or you are at the thought of your student son/daughter leaving home, a visit to the Spa may be just what is needed. Get rid of that stress by getting pampered.

Other product sales include:


  • Cold cereals
  • Frozen waffles
  • Granola bars
  • Jam, Jelly and Peanut Butter
  • Lunch box items
  • Cleaning wipes and hand sanitizers

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at


  • Avocados
  • Berries, Assorted Varieties
  • Cherries
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Melons, Assorted Varieties
  • Onions
  • Peaches, Pears and Plums
  • Peppers
  • Squash and Zucchini
  • Sweet Corn
  • Tomatoes

Tip: If you have access to a Farmers’ Market, visit one an hour or so before closing. If you’re flexible in what you want you’ll be surprised at the deals you can pick up. Vendors are looking towards going home and they really don’t want to  take stuff home with them. This is especially true of any produce that doesn’t keep well, like berries, peaches, pears, plums and tomatoes.

You will also find good sales on the following items:

Summer Clearance of:

  • Beach wear, swim gear, beach towels and umbrellas;
  • Pool supplies, accessories and toys;
  • Outdoor lighting lawn/patio furniture,
  • Barbecues and grilling utensils;
  • Camping equipment – tents, sleeping bags and other camping gear.

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at

Start next year’s garden diary to pre-plan your needs to take advantage of the season’s clearance sales of: Lawn mowers, fertilizers, soil, perennials, shrubs, trees, gardening gloves – hats – boots, benches, fountains, birdbaths, and other lawn decor, hoses and sprinklers. For anyone who starts their own seeds early in the year, this is also a good time to pick up peat pots, mini-greenhouses, and possibly even packets of seeds, although there the choices may be limited.

A surprise sales item: Snowblowers. Don’t ask me what the reasoning is behind this but late August seems to be a good time to buy a snowblower. Check with consumers report to find their reviews of the various snowblowers and, if buying early, make sure you get the last date to return the item in writing since you won’t be able to really try the machine out until the snow flies.

Tip: A snowblower isn’t as easy to use as you would think.  Before handing over any money make sure that you are able to handle the thing. We purchased one a few years ago that was lightweight which, according to the salesperson, is what we needed. The problem was that it had such small wheels that pushing it through the snow was impossible. It also did not have a reverse – a feature that is truly important. We returned that one and purchased a big machine, with big wheels, a reverse and electric starter – all features that made it much easier to manage.

A couple of other places to look for sales:

Dehumidifiers – find one that is energy efficient;



Image courtesy of Vlado at

Cars – New models come out in November so dealers will be starting to clear their lots. Go towards the end of the month. If the salesman or dealership haven’t met their quota you will probably be able to negotiate a really terrific deal.

Good luck finding the very best sales during August. The savings are there, you just have to go and get them.

If you know of any great sales happening during August, please share.  Other readers are always looking for money-saving information.

Talk to you again next week,



  1. (My previous attempts to submit this comment have thrown JavaScript errors. Let me try it one more time…)

    Still using a PC, Lenie? I thought Doreen, Rose, and I had talked you out of that. 😉
    Anyway, I thought it apropos to note that I myself am reading this post on a refurbished desktop iMac – I bought it over the phone directly from Apple itself, and buying it refurbished shaved $200 off the normal price. I’ve had it for almost seven years and it’s still going strong (I had to replace its hard drive a couple of years ago, but replacing hard drives is part and parcel of owning a computer). There we have it, eh?

    • Andy, my PC was a gift from one of my boys about 8 years ago and as long as it keeps going, I will continue to use it – for both sentimental and frugal reasons.
      I really appreciate your information about the refurbished computer to back up my info. In our area we have a business called Renewed Computers and that is what they do – refurbish computers and they guarantee their work. As you mentioned, there are great savings to be had by buying refurbished and as you know, I’m all for great savings. Have a great week.

  2. Excellent tips as usual.

    • Jason I always get a chuckle out of your short and to the point comments. have a wonderful weekend.

  3. That’s a great tip about the farmers market and one I will definitely remember. I tend to go early since it’s been so hot out, but maybe come cooler days I will try the later approach and see if I can get a good deal or two.

    • Jeri – I hate to say it but cooler weather will be here soon. I can’t believe how fast this summer is going, here we are in the last week of July. I can sure understand not wanting to walk around at Farmers Markets in the heat. Even here, where this summer we’ve had very few days above 80F it can still get pretty hot on the market grounds.

  4. Lenie — I loved your list, as usual. I got a chuckle about buying a snow blower.No more snow for me because I just moved to Florida. The last two winters in NYC were brutal. I have another tip, and it’s a general one: compare prices. I always check prices in the grocery store and look for sales or try a store brand. If the store brand is just as tasty or works as well, that’s a big savings.

    • Hey Jeannette, welcome back. Hope you’re all settled in in sunny Florida and relaxing in the sun. I’ll bet you are glad to be away from the New York winters – I know we shared much of the same weather although I think your winter was even worse than ours. Thanks for the tip about comparing prices. A while back I researched the store vs name brand and found that quite often the product was exactly the same, just packaged differently. I’m not sure how I feel about that but as long as the prices make such a huge difference I’ll accept it.

  5. Great tips on saving money. I too look for deals anywhere I can get them. This time of the year is great for yard sales, that is a good place to look for dorm furniture and fixtures at a cheap price. Not to mention, if you get it cheap enough, you don’t mind if it ends up in the dumpster at the end of the school year.

    • William, thanks for the yard sale tip. You’re right on both counts – the price and the throwaway at the end of the year. After last winter are you going to be looking for a snowblower in August or are you going to move to sunny Florida for the winter? LOL

  6. Lenie- Good tips for USA residents. Wish you lived in UK and could share some money saving tips with us. Like USA, the back to school sale will start in middle of August. Towards the end of August there should be some good sales for students going to Uni. The farmers markets in UK also reduce their prices towards the end of the day. Supermarkets also reduce prices of their ready foods with short well by dates, bread, milk, fruit etc.

    • Mina, thanks for sharing your tips – you’ve added some valuable information for the British readers. I had actually forgotten about the supermarkets selling off their short well-by date products, which is odd because that’s where I head first when I enter the store. You have just given me an idea for a new post. Thanks.

  7. Hi Lenie, your tip about the farmers market reminded me of going to Swap Meets here in California. Don’t know if you have those there, but if u go right before closing time they are willing to make great deals just so they don’t have to pack it up and haul it out home again.

    • Susan, we do have Swap Meets here although I’m not personally involved – it sounded like to much work to me but I admire those that participate. Such a great way to recycle. And yes, I can well imagine that they would make great deals at the end of the day. After all, their purpose is to get rid of things, not keep them.

  8. Love this August buys savings tips Lenie. Are you planning to make one for each month? FYI – while I didn’t read on my iPhone, everything looked lovely on my iMac with Google Chrome.

    • Patricia, funny you should ask. I’m working on an editorial calendar and my posts around the 15th of the month will be just that – the upcoming sales for the following month. I have a pile of flyers I’ve been collecting for the past few years to compare sales and products prices. Thanks for letting me know my site works on your iMac. Guess I’m pretty well covered.

  9. Viewing on a mobile is fine.

    • Bola, thanks for letting me know. After all the good people, including you, have let me know, I feel pretty secure that google will be happy. Thanks again.

      • You’re welcome.

  10. In London, August is also a good time to buy school uniforms and it is a must for those starting secondary school. You might not get that many bargains because the new school year starts in September. But sometimes bargains can be found at other times.

    • Hi Bola, having spent a few school years in Holland, I know that we used to only get the month of August off. Here in Canada we start the end of June and run until the end of the first week in September (about 10 weeks). How much time do the school children get off in London? I love the idea of school uniforms – that would stop so many problems and you would probably be able to buy good used ones at the end of the school year.

      • Hi Lenie. The school children get 6 weeks, and sometimes 7 weeks off, running from the end of July up until the first week in September. The holiday is shorter in the UK.

  11. Great tips Lenie! Also, some states have a sales tax holiday for back to school stuff. A surprising amount of items are included. Last year I waited to get my new mattress during that time and saved a ton by not having to pay tax. I also tend to stock up on some office items that are included, like paper and ink for my printer.I am also a huge fan of consumer reports and research every major item before I buy. Great list!

    • Hi Jacquie – that sales tax holiday sounds like a great thing – I know individual stores here offer it once in a while but I don’t think we’ve ever had an actual day. We pay 13% on everything so that would make a huge difference. I really like the consumer reports and go to them a lot. We were given their magazine as a gift one year and that got me hooked. Have you ever checked Amazon for ink for your printer? I recently got six sets (mine come in sets of four – one of each colour) for about $30.00 total – to buy one set here is $25.00 so tremendous savings and I’ve never had problem with them.

  12. These are wonderful tips on saving and planning Lenie! I love farmer’s markets – we don’t have the large markets like on the mainland, but there are several smaller events around the Island each week and I try to take advantage of them whenever possible. School supplies – well that’s a big issue here and sadly far too many parents can’t afford all their kids need so everywhere you go right now there are fundraisers to collect or buy school supplies. Many of our teachers pay for at least some supplies out of their own pockets.

    • Marquite, I was sorry to hear that school supplies are too expensive for some. Since a child’s future, in large part, depends on a good education, having to worry about supplies should not be necessary. When we went to school, until high school, all of that was supplied. We did get some extras because we wanted them but not because we had to. Even in highschool where we had to buy our books, we had a day ahead of when school started to be able to sell last’s books and buy the upcoming books used. I think you have many advantages living where you do but I guess, as in all things, there are disadvantages too.

  13. Logic would dictate that school supplies would be most expensive in August since that’s when they are in the greatest demand. Guess not. I do remember buying school supplies at Walmart last year a couple days before school started and being surprised at how cheap they were.

    • Ken, in this case I think it’s the competition that drives prices down and of course, once retailers get you in their store, there are a lot of other high margin products that people pick up at the same time. So while it looks like fantantic deals (and they are if that’s all you get) many folk start thinking wow I saved a lot and overspend in other areas.

  14. You know I love a good sale! This is great information, and you make a good point about not buying a cheap printer. Your mobile site is working great for me, from my Android phone.

    • Meredith, thanks for letting me know about how the blog looks on your phone. I now have heard from a Nexus, a Samsung and your Android – that pretty well tells me I’m ok. Do you have a tax holiday on school supplies like Jacquie has – that along with the product savings would really make a difference.

  15. Sadly, the only farmer’s market in my area that I go to that really discounts in the last hour is the one all the way on the other side of town. I often wonder what they are saving the produce for, but I imagine that there are so many farmer’s markets in Los Angeles, that they just pack up and take it to the next one. How is it time for back to school already? I feel like summer just started. Seriously, the traffic hasn’t even started to get lighter yet!

    • Erica, too bad about the Farmer’s Markets. Don’t worry, we still have about six weeks of summer left, lots of time left to enjoy. I can’t imagine the traffic in LA – must be a nightmare at times. The other day my husband and I went shopping and on a 45 minute drive we saw about a dozen cars coming towards us. All rural roads, a river alongside for part of it, absolutely beautiful. that’s my kind of driving.

  16. I accessed your blog via my mobile phone – Samsung S4. I have no problems in navigating around your blog.

    I know of the great savings I can make by buying out of season but I struggle with say, buying winter coats in the heat of summer or buying summer clothes in autumn. It makes sense and I even have a friend who follows this rule much to her benefit.

    I really do not like paying more than I need to for anything. On entering a shop, I head straight for the sales section!

    • Phoenicia, thank you so much for letting me know my blog works fine on your phone, the Samsung. One of the other members of our group has a Nexus and she agreed everything worked the way it should. That’s good to know, since the world is definitely going mobile.

      It really is hard to buy clothes, especially women’s in offseason but you’re right,it does make so much sense. I’ll bet it saves your friend a pile of money. My favourite go to place for clothes is this wonderful Thrift Store I discovered – they don’t put anything on their racks that they wouldn’t want in their own closet. Love shopping there.

  17. Some of your best buys are in August. I buy clothes that I like not that are in vogue and now is the time to get good deals. Many of the stores even have things really discounted from Last year’s fall and winter season. I don’t know how you can make a wool sweater look different. This is the time of the year I buy Christmas gifts. I just make sure they can be returned.

    • Arleen, your last statement is the important one if you’re buying Christmas gifts now – just make sure they can be returned. There are so many good deals, not only in offseason clothes but in offseason/end of season everything really. I think planning ahead is a very big part of being frugal and finding the best deals.

  18. Lenie , you mentioned the Farmers Market tip in a previous post and I’ve took your advice and it’s worked great. I’ve gotten deals on fresh flowers and home-baked goods by hitting the market later in day.
    The Summer clothes sales are great for us in LA, when the Fall s can be the hottest time of the year. Some of my friends who had 3 or 4 kids would purchase their children’s’ upcoming Spring and Summer wardrobes during these sales.I thought that was a great idea.They’d just go up a size or two.

    • Pamela, when you have children, especially 3 or 4, the smarter you shop, they better they can be dressed and buying offseason clothes is definitely one of the ways. Glad the Market tip is working for you – it is one of my favourite ‘no effort’ ways to save. About the flowers, doesn’t a vase of flowers just make you feel good everytime you look at them?

  19. Great tips as always, Lenie! We are in the market for a new BBQ. When do you think would be the best time to pick one up? Ours will probably make it thru the summer, but my cousin fixed it last fall and warned us that it was on its last leg.

    • Doreen, I’ll bet you can find some really great deals on BBQ during the Labour Day Sales. A lot of people will be focusing on back to school stuff, leaving the stores that sell things like BBQs, Outdoor furniture, etc. competing hard for their share of consumer spending. Good luck, and if you are up to it, haggle. I’ve never done it in the big stores but I’ve heard others talk about haggling and scoring even a better deal. Must work on that area myself.

  20. This is a great post for your blog, Lenie. Perfect actually. You are so right that in August you find bargains on all kinds of school supplies.

    Caution about buying second hand computers on eBay or something similar. They are frequently stolen so you need to ask for the receipt. At least that’s the case in Europe and if you don’t have the receipt you can end up having problems with the law because you should have understood that it was likely it was stolen.

    • Thanks for the caution Catarina – I am always a bit leery about buying electronics used, there are times when the lowest price is not necessarily a good deal. Buying refurbished from a dealer you know is much smarter. I’m glad you think the post fits – I do enjoy these and I am now making plans to have a sale/savings forecast or product review once a month.

  21. Great tips about sales to look for in August. I will be checking outdoor furniture. Also, thanks for the reminder about school supplies. I no longer need to buy supplies for school, but it might be a good month to stock up on notepaper for myself.

    • Donna, back to school time is really the time to stock on home office supplies and I do every year. I have a hard time paying a dollar when I could have gotten it for a quarter so I really do watch these times.

      • Ditto on what Donna said–I always forget that I could use school supplies! Also made a note to check for peat pots, etc. since we keep trying to start our seedlings in March/April for a May/June planting. I like to be prepared.

        Lenie, I popped over to my iPhone 6 to check out your blog. The site came right up, but when I went to the menu, the blogs did not appear. In the search box, typing in “school” brought me straight to this blog.

        So I went to my own site and the menu selection works to get to my blogs. I am using the plugin: WPtouch Mobile Plugin by BraveNewCode Inc. All seems to go smoothly with it.

        • Rose, thanks for letting me know about what could be a glitch. I will check it out and also the WP plugin. Really appreciate your taking the time.
          As to being prepared I’m with you. Getting your peat pots at the end of the season is a smart move because I’m sure you’ll find the best prices of the year. I truly appreciate your support and friendship.

        • Rose, I just tried to find the WPtouch plugin but can’t seem to find it. Is it not included with the plugins on the WP site?

  22. Thanks for the tip on MS Win 10. I had forgotten all about that. I’m off to check it out!!

    • Hi Shirley – welcome to my blog, hope you’re enjoying your visit. I know the refurbished computers probably won’t have Windows 10 but that is no problem. However, I guess it is something they should ask about when they are buying one of those units.