Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to School Shopping

As Aug careened toward it's end, bringing summer 2013 to a halt, everyone started posting their back to school shopping woes.

Seems schools are asking parents to shell out more and more funds for back to school supplies. Long gone are the days of "whatever box of crayons you could afford" and here to stay are the days of "everyone must be equal and have the same brand/size/color."

This seems to add to the overall total dramatically.  Everyone has to buy the name brand to keep it all 'fair'.

Apparently now you also may not even get the box of pencils and markers you picked out with your mom while shopping.  It all goes into a 'collective box' to be dolled out by the teacher the first week of school.

What's the fun in that?

I remember the excitement of getting my own box of 24 crayons -- it was even more special when mom splurged and bought me the 64 or better yet the 124 box of colorful wonder.  (I also remember when that was 'outlawed' b/c not everyone had a BIG BOX of crayons.  Yep, even way back then we were starting our political correctness.  It just didn't yet have a label attached.

As I read post after post of the exuberant amount of money being spent on supplies for kids to head back to school, I began my own mental list of what we needed to start OUR homeschool year.

Yes, we still need school supplies, but before I head to the store, I head to our shelves and desks to see what we still have from LAST year.

Armed with knowledge of what we could re-use from the previous school year, what I had already purchased over the year on clearance, I sat down to write out our L-I-S-T!

Heading to town for other supplies and groceries I decided to roll school supply shopping into my errands.

When all was said and done, I spent about $30 for 'supplies' for all 6 kiddos to successfully start their lessons.  In addition I purchased another $30 in 'storage containers' to finish off our schoolroom make-over.  If I add in the paint and materials I purchased for our re-organization, my total was at approximately $145.00.

I believe that's LESS than many posts I saw that had purchased JUST paper/pencil type supplies (maybe a calculator as well) for 2 kids.

I'm stoked!

It makes me happy to be able to save that money.

Our kids are thrilled with the few 'new' supplies they received -- paper, ear buds, a few notebooks, and new mechanical erasers for the big kids; a notebook, crayons, markers, colored pencils, and an eraser for the littles and a few pencil sharpeners to share.

Just one more perk to homeschooling, I guess.

In addition to fewer and cheaper school supplies - we didn't need to go buy a new wardrobe either. We're still wearing our shorts/T-shirt/skirts from the summer.  I saw another homeschoolers post about getting new PJ's for the start of the school year.  What a FUN idea.

What are ways you save on back to school shopping?  We re-use what we had from previous years, buy on clearance throughout the year, hit the big back to school sales and purchase 'off brand' on many items.

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