Those who know me well know my very deep feelings on school supplies. If not well…. let’s just say I’m not a fan. In my perfect world schools would have enough money to give teachers so teachers could buy what they wanted for their students. But, this isn’t a perfect world and schools don’t have enough money for their teachers and so we parents have to buy the supplies.
As military families we often find ourselves moving mid year expected or not. So what do you do with all those school supplies? All schools are different and so is grade to grade. Since I’m not a fan of buying school supplies I have a few tips to lesson the cost and keep you from having an over abundance of unnecessary supplies.
1. Save what is in good shape. If your child comes home on the last day and their folders are all looking good, keep them for next year. This also goes for pencil pouches, scissors, etc. Even markers and pens are savable. At the end of the year I go through everything that comes home and keep stuff for next year. I swear the boys are on their third year with the same folders. Teachers don’t mind because they slap stickers right over the old.
2. Get good quality. I’m a fan of spending a little more for a longer wear and tear. This is will be handy with said folders previously mentioned. Also, good for back packs, lunch boxes, markers and pens. Want to go cheap? Save on things like paper products, crayons, pencils etc. Things you know will be used and a lot! Spend on the items you know could go further than one year.
3. If you know you are moving mid year (like orders in hand) ask the current school what you won’t need. We did this for our last move. My husband had orders so when it came time to buy supplies I called the school and they gave me a shorter list. For example crayons. Instead of the 4 we only got 2 and same with pencils and so one. Have the same conversation with the transferring school. You might be surprised what they are willing to let you leave off “the list”.
4. Check out Operation Homefront’s “Back-to-School Brigade”. Let’s face it school supplies are expensive and some just aren’t in a good financial place (it happens so no judging). This program is great way to get some supplies for nothing! But, don’t take advantage and save what you can!
While I may never truly like shopping for school supplies I’ll do it willingly and try to smile about it. Our kids and teachers deserve to have classrooms stocked full of all the things they need for a successful year.
Have a GREAT school year everyone!