Monday, August 13, 2012

School Supply Survival Guide

Crumpled lists, leaky pens, and stationary store meltdowns; back-to-school shopping doesn't have to be this hectic!

Make a List
Whether you've made your own or were provided one by the school, a proper list is your first line of defense against frivolous purchases and last minute panics.  Stay organized and cross items off as you get them. 
If you did get a list from the school, feel free to contact them and ask which items are mandatory and which are just suggestions.

Create a school supply budget and share it with the kids.  This allows them to prioritize where money should go, especially if they’re older.
Older kids feel social pressure to have the trendiest supplies, while younger students go nuts for superhero notebooks and pens.  Reviewing the budget will force them to choose between brand name notebooks and super pack of glitter pens.

Buy in Bulk
Things like pens, pencils, and paper can be much cheaper when purchased in bulk.  Stockpile these staples for next year or split bulk orders with other parents.  Use coupons and shop around to find the best prices and deals. 

Buy the right Backpack
Kids carry a lot of weight on their shoulders – which is why they need a great backpack!  Look for bags with padded straps and sturdy zippers.  
Because a backpack is something they carry everyday, make sure they like it.  This can sometimes be a hassle, so prepare to pull out your best negotiation skills and know when to compromise.   

Get Creative
Kids might not like the plain white folders you had lying around or the boring binders that were on sale, so why not spiff them up?  Encourage them to use stickers and markers to personalize stale supplies.  Cut up magazines and make cool collages or get creative with candy wrappers, glitter, computer print offs and more.   

Double Up
Double up on school supplies to cut corners.  Buy one big notebook with four different sections instead of four separate notebooks.  Do you really need a pencil case if your backpack has a section for pens? Why not buy mechanical pencils and skip the pencil sharpener?  These little things can save big bucks in the long run.

Looking to get them a super special back to school gift?  We have glittering notebooks that they decorate themselves.   



brich2222 said...

These are all very good tips. If you don't set a budget then things can really get out of control. Sharing the budget with the kids is good too and let them know how to prioritize their needs

Jacqueline Herrick said...

Love the back to school shopping tips! They are good tips, even for homeschooling moms like me. :)

Sandra Privetts-Black said...

Praises of a Wife and Mommy sent me. These are great tips that you are sharing with others. Most of these were things that I did while my children were in school and like Jacqueline Herrick I homeschooled my kids. Which meant that I made up their school supply list. Thank you again for sharing this with us.

Sherry Compton said...

Great tips. It is important to make a list and plan before ever buying. Look around at the ads and think about if you will need more later on in the year.
Praises of a Wife and Mommy sent me