I have a few tips from a mom that has been around the block regarding school supplies.
1. You get what you pay for.
Buy name brands like Crayola crayons, markers and paints, Elmer’s Glue,Ticonderoga #2 pencils and other better brands. There is a huge difference. Crayola crayons don’t break as easily. Crayola markers don’t dry out as soon and have better coverage when coloring. They also wash out of clothes better. Elmer’s glue is better than generic versions. I save my Ticonderoga pencils for standardized testing or only send them a few at a time. I have no problem with buying $.09 crayons to donate to the classroom, but if you can afford better it is worth it.
2. Some things on sale now will not be this cheap again until next year.
Crayola Watercolors are always on sale this time of year for about $1.50. Any other time of the year you will pay about $4.00 for the same thing. Think about birthdays and other things you can do in the future. Watercolors and coffee filters make for some great crafts. Crayons are a fun part of a birthday party gift bag. Fun erasers, jump drives, pencils and makers can make great stocking stuffers or go together as part of a larger gift. This blogger suggests writing on boxes of crayons or paint sets instead of buying a birthday card for kids.
One year I put together an art kit with inexpensive crayons, drawing paper, construction paper, post-its, Sharpies, glue, tape and all the other fun cheapies this time of year. It makes a great gift at Christmas for a niece or nephew.
3. Stock up.
Your child will most likely ruin at least one set of folders, notebooks, magic markers, or crayons. They need 20 more glue sticks in the classroom than the teachers request. If you can afford to donate to the general class fund it is easier to send in a dollar pack of six glue sticks than the dollar pack of two glue sticks you find in May. Your kids will use a lot of stuff at home too. I can’t guess how many pairs of scissors I have lost in this house. We seem to buy a new pair every year because we can’t find any. You might want some tape, spiral notebooks, dividers, markers, notebook paper or copy paper for yourself. Don’t forget about you, because your kids won’t mind stealing your stash.
4. Think out of the box, or locker.
I find more neat organizing things this time of year. Take a few minutes to check out the locker collections. Your refrigerator is also magnetic. Those little bins will go nicely on the side of it. The $1.00 locker dry erase board or cork board fits fine on the fridge. The picture above is a cute Vera Bradley set.