by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Back-to-school time can also indicate 'clear the wallet' time for parents and guardians. But it doesn't have to when it comes to school supplies. I know what you're thinking: "My child's list is huge! Can we really spend less than $25?" I have four kids that I purchase school supplies for every year. Our family is unique from some in that we have experienced purchasing school supplies both for traditional school and homeschool. Because I am a stickler for budgeting, I have always been able to stay under $25 for each kid.
The school supply list below is a pretty standard list for first-graders. Some may vary slightly. I’ve included the prices I was able to take advantage of for this list, as well as where I purchased the items.
First Grade School Supply List
1 backpack - $9.99 at Ross
2 (24 count) boxes of pencils - $0.99 each at Dollar Tree
2 tissue boxes - $0.99 each at Dollar Tree
4 loose leaf folders - $.10 each at Wal-Mart or Target
2 composition notebooks - $0.99 at Dollar Tree
1 pair safety scissors - $0.99 at Dollar Tree
2 bottles school glue - $0.20 each at Target or Wal-Mart
2 (24 count) boxes of crayons - $0.20 each at Target or Wal-Mart
1 (12 count) box of wide-tipped markers - $0.99 at Target, Wal-mart, or Dollar Tree
1 (12 count) box of colored pencils - $0.99 at Target, Wal-Mart, or Dollar Tree
1 pkg of loose leaf paper - $0.50 at Wal-Mart
Total = $20.20
Which items should you avoid? Many kids would like to have the heavily decorated supplies and the special Velcro binders. But the fact is that most teachers honestly prefer the plain ones for several reasons. Some teachers ask for enough supplies to last year-round and store the items in a locker for later use. Even when there is not supply-sharing going on, it's easier for the teachers to know which folders (and other items) are for which purpose if everyone has matching supplies. Besides, fancy designs also come with a price that will likely not fit into a budget of under $25. Also, avoid items your child may enjoy, but that are not on the school supply list.
Is it worth it to shop around? That depends on how far apart the stores are, how much gas it costs you, and a few other factors. Our family is dedicated to being green. Therefore, we generally walk to most stores, unless they are too far away. Because of this, the cost of the school supplies is all we would spend. To get the most savings, it's best to shop at stores that have back-to-school sales and are near each other. The stores we used in our list above are all near our house and all within walking distance of each other. There's also a benefit to that if you are driving because it means less gas is spent. If you spend an extra $5-$10 (or more) on gas while running across town, you really haven't saved on the school supplies.
How to Make the Most of a Back to School Clothing Budget
Back to School: Must-Have Accessories for Tweens
Back to School: Must-Have Accessories for Teens
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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Lyn Lomasi's Founder & Community Manager of Write W.A.V.E. Media, which spotlights writers for existing work, as well as encourages expression while earning. Along with her amazing business & life partner, Richard Rowell, Lyn manages a freelance writer team.
She’s your content superhero to the rescue! Lyn's been writing web content for years & rescuing civilians from boring text since the age of three. SEO, custom content, web design, & other content nightmares are her dream come true!
Lyn formerly acted as Community Manager & Advocate at Yahoo! Contributor Network, where she assisted writers with community, editing, technical, & other issues. Her work’s featured all over the web. From parenting, energy usage, pets, homelessness, to reducing waste & more, Lyn’s committed to saving the Earth as a whole.
For the self-made momtrepreneur, sustainability is a way of life and a labor of love. She’s raising her kids and pets in Colorado.
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Richard Rowell is a freelance blogger and creative writer who writes on a wide array of topics including marketing, positive thinking, writing advice, and more.
He is a staff writer and co-owner of the Write W.A.V.E. Media Network, contributing to various sites in the network, such as Article Writer for Hire, Life Successfully, and Write W.A.V.E. Media itself.
Today, Richard focuses on producing high-quality content to help clients become thought leaders in their respective fields. He is also happy to coach anyone who wants to become a better writer, and is open to help anyone critique, edit and proof their work.
He loves cats, music, and giraffes.
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