It’s that time of year again — time to buy school supplies. Once you’ve skimmed the HLS school supply lists for your child’s grade level, you’ve got to figure out how to round up all the supplies necessary for your child’s education. Here are some tips on finding and buying school supplies.
1. Reuse your old supplies.
See if your child had supplies left over from last year. If they’re still in good shape, there’s nothing wrong with reusing them! If you’re worried about that pack of markers or that half-full bottle of glue running out during the school year, remember that you can always pick up a new pack mid-year.
Share supplies among family members, too. If you’ve got a few kiddos in school, see if you can reuse your oldest child’s 3×5 file box for your child who is just entering fifth grade. Maybe one of your children is very picky and only wants new supplies, but your youngest may be perfectly happy with her sister’s colored pencils from last year.
2. Go shopping in your house.
After you double-check if your child has supplies left over from last year, go shopping around your own home. See if you can pull from what you already have before you go buy brand-new things, like earbuds or a three-inch three-ring binder. You’d be surprised at what you have hidden away.
3. Know where to get the deals.
If you can’t pull together all the items on your child’s school supplies list from what you already have at home, don’t worry. Walmart and Shopko have great deals on school supplies this time of year — but do your shopping early before the good stuff is gone! Also consider checking online sites like Amazon. You can find a wider variety of supplies online, and you won’t have to endure the hour-long journey through Walmart with your kids as you search for the perfect folder.
4. Buy in bulk.
Several school supplies items are cheaper when you buy them in bulk. If you’ve got more than one kid, it makes sense to buy in bulk when it comes to things like Kleenex or glue sticks. Or plan with another parent to buy in bulk and split the cost. Another option that your child’s teacher will appreciate: Consider donating a few extra school supplies to your child’s classroom. Teachers have been known to buy (out of their own pocket) extra sets of school supplies for students who don’t bring all the supplies on the list or who run out of supplies halfway through the year, so any extra donations of supplies would be appreciated and put to good use.