Here we are, another school year and inevitably you’re going to need to do some back to school shopping. Here are some things to think about before you load up on wide ruled note book paper and #2 pencils.
Before you buy anything, it is a good idea to take stock of what you already have. While it is tempting to forget the supplies your child brought home at the end of the last school year, chances are there are more than a few pencils that could be recycled for this year.
Pro tip: check their notebooks. Most kids do not realize how many blank pages they have left, or even whole notebooks they barely used. If anything these can be used as your home supply.
It does not take a rocket scientist to know some of the best back to school deals are online, especially when it comes to buying in bulk! Get crayons, protractors and even some basic cheap t-shirts to use as layers when the days start to get cooler.
If you are tech savvy enough, you may even be able to do all your back to school shopping without ever leaving the house!
While your child may want the latest and greatest, be sure to set limits. An excellent way to do this is by giving them some money and going to the Dollar Store together. Almost every town has one within a reasonable distance. Let your child choose some of their more basic school supplies.
This exercise can work with well with almost any child between the ages of 5 and 12. After you save on some of the more basic supplies, you can let them splurge a little on one more personalized option. You will be shopping for new supplies, as well as teaching your child valuable money management skills.
Buying in Bulk
Buying in bulk is easy online. Wholesale brick-and-mortar clubs are also an excellent place to buy supplies in bulk. Non-specialty or grade-specific items, like pens, pencils, paper, staplers and other basic items cost pennies when you buy in bulk.
Once purchased, find a shelf, closet or desk to hold everything. That way when you can find it throughout the year. Or, if you’re super organized agree to split the purchase with friends or relatives and share the cost of the supplies.
Set the Stage for Re-Use
When marking items, stick to labeling them with your last name. It will make hand-me-downs less confusing and may even help your younger children accept them easier.
A little pre-planning and keeping an eye out for bargains year-round goes a long way. You can save money and the hassle of yearly back-to-school supply shopping this way.
This is the classic saving method. Break out that Sunday newspaper and start clipping. It may be a little old school, but there is a reason this practice has lasted through the digital age. It still works, and there are still lots of good deals to save money.
There are, of course, lots of online places that also offer great deals/coupons on back to school supplies. So, you can be a little old school and a little new school.
Free School Supplies
Heading back to school can be stressful for families in financial stress. Sometimes circumstances are beyond our control, and we still cannot afford new school supplies. Lot’s of communities have programs to make sure all children can get school supplies. Many programs and practices can help families in need. Do not be afraid or ashamed to reach out and ask for extra help.
Also take note, if your family is in a comfortable place financially. Donating to these organizations or dropping off some extra supplies for your child’s new teacher to give to kids she feels need them, can be a huge help.
The new school year offers a clean slate for you and your family to set new goals and priorities. Making sure you feel prepared is the first step to having a successful year. The more you include the kids in the process and make it yet another adventure the more they will see it as a positive. Have fun! Happy Back to school! xo