Laker Cents: When School Supplies Add Up

We’re already 3 days into August, which means its officially “Back to School” season!

You’ve probably seen school supplies lists popping up in local stores, social media pages, and welcome back packets for parents. Overwhelmed a little? It’s normal, especially with multiple children in school. Although these lists are sent out entirely to prepare your children for a fun and successful year, supplies can add up. Here’s a few ways to save some money and send your child off prepared for the year:

Scope out what you already have. It might not be the most glamorous option for your kids, but most of us have a cabinet, cupboard, or closet filled with “this and that.” Chances are, there’s a crayon box, pair of scissors, or a glue stick that could save you a few dollars if you choose it.

Check out store deals. It’s not everyone’s favorite pastime to look through those flyers that clutter your mailbox, but around this time of year there are some incredible deals happening at stores! Take a few minutes to see where the cheapest supplies are, then plan your trip.

Be careful who you shop with…bringing your kids school supplies shopping is fun and exciting for them, but it also easily creates a case of the “wants” versus the “needs.” Sparkly notebooks, gel pens, locker mirrors, and more are specifically marketed towards children, and it might be hard to say no if your little has their heart set on an item.

Buy durable, reusable items. Instead of having to buy a new, inexpensive (but poorly made) backpack each year, consider a one-time investment of a high quality,weatherproof, rip-proof bag. Your child might be able to use it for 5 or 6 years if it’s made well! This idea also applies to things your child will use every day, like crayon boxes, water bottles, and lunch bags.

Buy in bulk. For things your child might need multiple times throughout the year (pencils, erasers, glue sticks, etc.) the price/unit is often cheaper when bought in higher quantities. It might be a little higher cost up-front, but it also means less sporadic trips to the school supplies aisle when the sales aren’t happening.

Happy school shopping!


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