Summer is almost over. And believe it or not, the kids are getting ready to go back to school. If the list from school has arrived, you might be wondering how you’re going to pay for it all. It seems that every teacher has a pretty specific list of items that each kid has to bring to class on the first day. But, how do you cut corners without cutting too deep? Make a conscious effort to spend less. One way to do that is to buy what you can at the discount store. The less money you spend on school supplies, the more you’ll have for clothes and those unexpected expenses that come with having kids.
Since composition and loose-leaf notebooks are staples on almost every teacher’s list, you can find multi-packs and divvy up the spoils between your kids. You’ll find that bright colors are solid choices for kids who to tend to lose things. If your child is a budding fashionista, go for the notebooks and binders with colorful bold designs on the cover. This strategy could save you money in the long run by preventing you from buying replacements that were lost by accident or on purpose. Don’t forget to put their name on the inside cover in case they forget what it looks like or if a classmate picks it up by mistake. Writing a name on the outside can be embarrassing in some social circles, so that’s something to avoid if you want your kids to keep speaking to you.
Building a Stash
You might consider buying the basics in bulk. Keep a stash in a secret hiding place so you’ll have extra pens and paper on hand in the middle of the year. You know, when your child suddenly informs you five minutes before the bus arrives that he has nothing to write on – or with — and that he will have detention for a week if he shows up to school again without them.
Kids in junior high and high school seem to have more elaborate tastes than their younger siblings. One main area of concern is the matter of locker decorations. The latest in fashion trends are locker organizers and dry erase boards. You can also find inexpensive magnetic photo frames and foam letter stickers for less that will keep your teens and tweens happy without blowing your back-to-school budget.
Passing on School Budget Cuts
There are certain items that some public school systems can’t afford, so parents are now expected to supply them instead. Some back-to-school lists are requiring basic cleaning supplies and items for the whole class to use . If a roll of paper towels, dry erase markers and a bottle of hand sanitizer are on your child’s list of school supplies, you’ll probably need to pick up more than just pens, pencils and notebooks at the discount store.
As you prepare for that back-to-school time of year with your hands clutching your wallet, try to keep in mind that the costs of education are manageable, and the value of education is priceless.
Nikki is an independent writer for DollarTree.com. Dollar Tree offers great deals on office supplies, party supplies and more.