Back to school supplies add up. 10 cents here, 25 cents here 80 cents there, but you need multiples of the item. And of course if you have more than one child who is attending school you begin to push the budget just to get it all.
This year I have two in school, granted one of them is going to prek for the first time, and the other is off to Kindergarten. I noticed though that the prek school supply list is actually more than what my oldest sons list for Kindergarten needs. Needless to say, I have to learn to be frugal, especially when the third little one goes off to school in a couple years.
The easiest way to get all of this at the best discount possible, no easier way to say it, than to come out with it. You need storage.
Last year my oldest was in the 4 year old Prek program, his birthday was also right after school started. I actually came across this idea, looking for party stuff for his birthday that year.
I now have started a box for each child, that will contain the basics for the following school year, all of which, I paid roughly 20.00 for the entire set.
Again, I started this, because I was searching for some fun cheaper and useful ways to fill my sons goody bags for his party.
2 packs of scissors (the dull ones they use for the younger grades). They're roughly about 50 cents (at a sale) to 1.00 for the pack. After he started school, everything went on sale, So I shuffled and I went every few days to the store, Target and Walmart mostly and once things really hit 70 to 90 percent off. I picked them up. I purchased all of these at 5 cents to 10 cents a piece. Now I bought several, not just one. So spending 20 dollars was pretty good in my opinion.
Well we had leftovers of course. So this year, the only thing I actually had to go out and buy for my sons, was the one green folder they needed. I still have plenty left for even next year. Between papers,pencils, pens (they always get lost in my house).
The easiest and best way to achieve getting exactly what you'll need is to go ahead and grab the list for the next grade up. After school has started, just hit up the stores every so often, it does pay more to wait, although you don't always get the best selection because many are picked over.
Now to get my kids excited for school this year, I did let them get new backpacks this year. This is where the other 30.00 came in. I bought them each a backpack and lunchbox, from toys r us through their website. The lunchboxes were free, and it was free shipping. Now if you don't have an overly picky child or a child that can go through backpacks (like mine). You could also wait till the school supplies go on clearance, and pick up a brand new backpack for roughly 3.00. I picked up two. I had orginally planned to save one of them for him for this year. But my son ripped his backpack towards the end of the year, so he got it early on.
It really does pay to wait though. I will be there waiting too. Once I gather up everything (and more than likely extras). I will place it in their boxes and store in our garage with their label. I'll also save the list so we have it to compare to the list that comes out right before school starts next year. This way I don't have to go through the box to double check I have everything. I can just see what is different between the lists, and check my extras box and good to go for the school year.
Now to get this started. Unless you can wait a little ways into school, you'll need certain supplies to start. You can get the basics, and hope for the best, or you can check the ads. Don't just go to walmart and expect their prices are the best every single time.
I noticed that the glue sticks were in different amounts in the packages, and if you need 24 (my son did) then buying the 12 packs seemed like a great idea. Nope, they were actually more expensive than if you bought 6 of the two packs. But then again, target happened to be cheaper all around for their 6 packs.
Each week before school, grab the ads from the sunday paper, and compare them to your list. Most families go grocery shopping once a week (or at least make a run for milk once a week if not more). This is the best time to grab the sale instead of doing it all in one stop and spending more on the supplies.
Those little numbers really do add up fast.
And then you add in the back to school clothes.
Luckily my kids are quite picky on that yet, but I do know where I'll be going for my discounts.
Happy Back to School Shopping!