Summer has just begun, but school supplies are beginning to show up on store shelves. You may also start seeing ‘door buster’ sales in the Sunday ads for office supply stores & discount stores. I’ve also begun seeing coupons in the weekly inserts for some supplies.
What to Buy?
You may not even know what your child needs yet for their classroom/school. Sometimes you can contact the school, school website or the teacher to get this information. Some local stores have school supply lists printed and available on product end caps. Call your store to see if they have school supply lists available. Occasionally you cannot get the list until registration or the first day of school.
School lists can have very specific information on them, including colors, brands or model numbers. For example the list might say, plain 2 pocket folders, one yellow and one blue. Yellow for math & blue for language arts. This way everyone knows what color folder to get out for that subject.
Some schools have pre-made kits that you can buy. These are expensive but it is one stop shopping. If you don’t want to brave the school supply isle this may be the route to go.
If you don’t have a list yet, stick to the basics that your child will use each year like pencils, crayons, and scissors. Then when you get the list you can fill in what you don’t have. If you watch the weekly ads, you can grab a few things here & there each week that are very inexpensive and won’t break your budget.
How Much to Buy
Plan to buy a few extra supplies to stash away for mid-year, or for home use. This can save you lots of money when supplies are not on sale later. Things like pencils are generally needed every year so when you find a great sale stock up.
These items are for classroom use or class projects. This list could include facial tissue, dry erase markers, disinfecting wipes, paper towels, hand sanitizer, zippy bags, craft supplies, etc. Check your cabinets, as you might already have many of these items on hand.
Back Packs & Lunch Boxes
Check with your school for policies on back packs & lunch boxes. Some schools do not allow back packs with wheels, or it may need to be a certain size. Always check the fit for your child as well. Back packs that are too big can be too heavy for children when full.
Can’t Afford Everything?
Check out shopgoodwill.com or other sales websites for costly items like calculators, back packs and lunch boxes. You can often find these items at very reasonable prices, but be sure you get the exact calculator model number the school asks for. Or better, ask older students if they still need theirs & buy it from a friend. Also, ask the teacher if there are ones to rent. Sometimes the school has a limited number available to students who cannot afford to buy them.
If you are having trouble buying your child’s school supplies there is help available to you. You can ask your school for a referral or call 211 United Way for a referral to an agency that may be able to help.