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  • Stress-Free Back-to-School Shopping: Where to Get the Best Buys and Avoid the Crowds

    SP’s Mommy Jazz or Jazer Basan generously shares her back-to-school shopping secrets. Avoid the crowd and still get the best buys. Read on.
    by Jazer Basan .
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    These recommended branches of bookstores Merriam and Webster and National Book Store offer relatively cheaper school supplies, products at wholesale price and free delivery service minus the crowds.

     

    Merriam and Webster Makati

    Merriam and Webster (or M&W) is the locally licensed publisher of Merriam and Webster dictionaries, thus carrying its name. This store in Makati offers all items needed for school, offering top quality brands and affordable alternatives, giving customers freedom of choice. Quality plastic covers of thick grades and branded pencils with sturdy lead that lasts the whole school year can be found here. M&W also carries textbooks from their own publication and selected publishers, art supplies and cutie character knick-knacks all covered in one stop. I find many items in this store cheaper with composition notebooks as low as P8 each. M&W may not be the most popular school supplies store but with the same array of items, lower price and shorter check-out lines, school shopping is stress-free. What's more, they deliver for free within the vicinity for purchases of P1,000. Good news for those who can't carry home huge boards for projects or heavy loads of items for school opening. This recommended Merriam and Webster branch is located at Arnaiz corner Chino Roces Avenue Makati City.

    Merriam and Webster Binondo

    If you're already on the way to Divisoria and had a change of heart upon seeing a long queue to the car park that used to be Juan Luna St., go down Binondo instead. Near Binondo Church at Quintin Paredes St. is a little eskinita that's Carvajal street. In just a few steps you will discover this old store. Don't let the busy market entrance deceive you. Inside M&W Binondo is a huge store space with the widest range of items for all your school and office needs. It's like finding a hidden oasis in the middle of the chaos. Not only is it complete, items are more affordable than popular bookstores and they even sell wholesale and deliver. I found here affordable quality brands of art supplies that are produced locally. They have a wide selection of paper products that are light and affordable. Their staff members are also knowledgeable on items and brands carried. This branch is not only impressive in terms of completeness, it's definitely budget friendly. 

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    National Bookstore Otis

    For those loyal to National Bookstore (NBS), head on to their branch at the ground floor of Robinsons Otis in Pandacan, Manila. Expect to find what you have in mind and expect no thick crowds either. NBS, the most popular bookstore in the country today with modern interiors and up-to-date items and designs that go with today's lifestyle, has earned the trust of shoppers of all ages. Your children will enjoy choosing their own school stuff here and then go malling afterwards. With their back-to-school promos, freebies and discounted item for a minimum purchase, shopping is fun. You even get a rebate when you use their environment-friendly "red" bag. They are not only helping the environment, they also help send kids to school. Donate a school set consisting of a notebook, a pencil and a sharpener for only P25. Drop this at their donation box. At NBS, good shopping experience comes with an opportunity to help the needy.

     

    National Bookstore Bel Air

    If you live or work in Makati, National Bookstore, Petron Square Bel-Air at Buendia corner Makati Avenue is an off-mall location that assures you of lesser crowds. This branch has two floors and ample parking space for customers. It caters more to corporate establishments in the district and offers business center services. Off-mall doesn't mean boring. After shopping, you can grab a bite, have lunch or coffee, even get a facial from shops and restaurants beside this branch while Dad gets the car checked.

    For those who wish to go to the malls to shop for school needs but hate the crowds, instead of going to popular branches of your favorite department stores, consider the places in the next page.

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