Back-To-School Supply Survival Tips
Every year around this time parents get ready for the arrival of the dreaded “list”–the school supply list that incredibly tops $100 on average. Multiply that by several children in a household and you are looking at a substantial investment at a time when it’s likely the kids have grown out of their clothing and shoes as well.
Fear not pencil shoppers! We have a few tips to share that will lighten your financial burden and add some weight to your wallet.
- Buy in bulk if you have a several kids—for the most part, if stored properly school supplies have a long shelf life.
- Check out what you have laying around home before you take a spin to the store. Many times, you will find paper, makers, pencils and other basics in storage bins and desk drawers that you may have forgotten. That junk drawer could be a treasure trove—dig around a little!
- Buy generic folders and notebooks, then have the kids decorate them with photos, stickers, acrylic paint, etc. Make sure to tell them that each notebook or folder will be an original design, and that no other kid will have anything like their special work of art!
- Sub-in a few hacks to achieve the same results in a creative way. Does your child need a paint smock? Create a fun paint shirt out of an old men’s dress shirt—customize it and have some fun with puff paint and cloth markers to make it unique! (See above.) Does your child need a locker storage/organization solution? Buy a silverware tray or a cosmetics organizer to do the trick.
- Shop swap meets, Craig’s List and flea markets for great deals—many lists for older kids include technology requirements—and that can be spendy. Laptops, tablets, flash drives, etc. can be purchased for less if you are willing to comb through online listings.
Last, but not least, there will clothing to be purchased for the coming school year. As a kid, I looked forward to shopping for school clothes—in fact even as an adult I get the itch to shop in the early fall! With growing students, the best way to tackle that task is to look at garage sales, store closings, online listings and consignment shops. It’s not uncommon to find items that have not only been gently worn, but never worn—tags intact and in the original packaging. Make it fun for the kids by giving older children a budget and having a contest to see who can get the most with their “allowance.” Then make sure to come up with a fun prize, like play time at Kids Quest or Cyber Quest—the best bargain ever!
Don’t forget to check us out on Pinterest for more great ideas. Good luck in the coming school year!