Keep in Budget with School Supplies
It's that time of year again -- back to school mania! Even though your child may only in preschool, there are items you may need to buy to get her ready. Here are some money-saving ideas to to keep you within your back to school budget!
- It's best to get the list of school supplies needed for fall on
the last day of school before summer break. Don't wait until the first day
school to get the list -- you'll miss out on the summer sales and lose time
shopping and searching for materials on the first day of school.
- From the list of supplies, check what you have left from last
year's supplies. For example, I have four glue sticks and two glue bottles
over from last year. My oldest child used his crayons down to the last
inch, but my youngest has a set that will only need a new box.
- Stick to your list! As easy as this may sound -- it's not! Don't
waste your money buying supplies that look cute or because you think your
might need them. There are a lot of children who show up at kindergarten
with geometry sets, staplers and hole punchers. They simply won't need
these items. It might be best to leave your children at home when shopping
supplies -- they seem to want to buy everything in sight!
- Be a smart shopper. When buying markers, for example, ask
yourself if it is better to buy the markers that are marked two dollars more
probably last the whole year, or to buy the cheap ones at the dollar
store that dry out as soon as you look at them? Dollar stores are
great for 80 percent of school supplies; the rest you'll need to watch
out for at back-to-school sales.
- Don't purchase a pencil case that will hold three pencils and a
half an eraser. Instead buy a cosmetic bag (boys can have the solid-colored
ones). The case will hold all supplies, it has a sturdier zipper and is
available at the same price as the pencil case.
- Identify your child's belongings -- every pencil, crayon and
marker. If you don't, they may end up the collective batch at school, and so
- Reuse artwork or recycle gift wrap or colored comic pages to
cover school books.
- When you buy supplies at discount stores during their
back-to-school sales, stock up on items you'll need during the year such as
pens, rulers and paper. Some items could be good for holiday
- Re-use old vinyl binders. Cover them with pictures from
magazines and brush on a clear decoupage sealant (found at hobby and craft
- Teach your children to take care their belongings as they use them and to put them away together after each use. Getting them into this habit will save you a lot of money throughout the years.