Written by Bridget C. Williams

It is that time of year again, as you know most schools will supply a list of K-12 supply requirements.    If they didn’t provide a list you can check with you local stores who sell school supplies.   I know that some stores have the actual school list.   You can call in advance to see if they have the list or check around to see where you can get a list.   I know that Wal-Mart usually carries the school supply list per grade level.



Summer Sales

You should start here because the month of July and early August is the best time to shop for school supplies, shop around.   You know there are many dollar stores out there to pick from if you miss the sales.     The dollar store also sells clothes and it’s a lot cheaper if you are on a limited/fixed income.

Most of the times people stock up on school supplies and have carried over from the year before.  Before you think about shopping check to see what inventory you still have, so that you are not wasting money.

You know as well as we do that kids wear short sleeve polo shirts all year long, so hit the big summer sales and snap up discounted clothing that can be worn throughout the year.   My son actually wears short sleeves all year.


Parents stick to your budget

Children and teens may want a certain lunch box or pencil case they find in July, but once they start school and see that their friends are all using another kind.

Here it comes, “Mom or Dad can you buy this for me.  I don’t like the one you bought”.  In most cases, it’s us as parents teaching these bad habits.    Ask the child what are the differences between the one you have and the one you want.   They all serve the same purpose.


Stick to the list

Use the list that has been provided to you by the school.   You will not waste money on extra supplies.  We tend to buy things because they are cute or in style.   The unlisted items may not get used throughout the school year.


 Purchase basic supplies at the supermarket

Check weekly flyers for great deals on pens and loose-leaf paper, and get your weekly grocery shopping done at the same time. Bonus: buying everything in one place will save time and gas money! Make sure the price less than what you pay at another store… don’t forget to price match.


Unused office supplies

Let your children select home-office supplies and then personalize them in unique ways. For example, decorate inexpensive plain, white binders with digital photos by creating a collage and inserting the page into the plastic outer cover. Depending on the child’s age and if they would like to be creative, some just like basic.


Making personal Name Tags

Children love this! A picture (fun picture/subject/or a personal picture) with their name address and telephone number on it just in case belongings go missing and end up in the lost in found pile.   So many children over the school year loose jackets, shoes, book bags, lunch bags, gym bags, and so much more.   This is an easy way to have you children items returned.  You can buy the pre-stick tags at the dollar store.   Hole punch it, put a string through it,  and tied it.


School Swap

Try this method and see all the dollars you can save.  Round up a couple of other moms with kids the same gender as yours but different ages, and host an annual clothes swap. Trade toys and books, too! You’ll save a bundle.


Buy Colorful  

Pack all their pencils, erasers, and other goodies into a bright backpack or pencil pouch to keep them from disappearing.

school supplies

At the end of the Day Use what you already have

My son has tons of school supplies from last year. So, there are lots of things I will not be purchasing this year.   This will save me tons of money.   If you have to buy extra for the rest of the school year just buy what’s on the list.

Make an Inventory of all the supplies you have.

It keeps us from overspending on all the items that can break you.   Once you have done this check the list of supplies required for the school grade.  Only pick up the items required to save money and time.


Free School Supplies

Check around to see if there are any churches, school supplies drives, or organizations giving away free school supplies.