How to get creative when shopping for school supplies

Here’s what I’ve learned about buying school supplies without breaking the bank:

  1. Look around your house for supplies before going shopping. I found most of what was needed in the house. Look in the junk drawer, the desks, and anywhere else there might be school, art, or office stuff.
  2. For the things you can’t find around the house, wait until after school starts. School supplies go on sale then. If you feel bad not sending supplies with your child on the first day, send them with the stuff you’ve collected from around the house. If they have a pencil, paper, and some markers or crayons, they’ll be fine. Oh and don’t forget their lunch, it’s sitting on the counter!
  3. Go to the thrift store before the office supply or drug stores. Most of the stuff you need (folders, binders, rulers) can be found in the “home” or “office” departments of a thrift store.

Using the above tips, I was able to keep costs down to under $20 per child, and that included some optional items for the classroom (hand sanitizer, tissues, etc). The one thing that pulled up the average cost was that Isaac’s teacher required students to have a 1½” binder. The 1″ and 2″ binders were cheap and plentiful at Goodwill, but I had to buy a new 1½” binder at the drugstore for $6!

My apologies if this article arrives too late in the school year for the parents out there.

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2 thoughts on “How to get creative when shopping for school supplies”

  1. My wife and I have decided to take our own pictures this year for picture day. It will save us atleast $26.00 and all I had to do was find an ugly screen to have my oldest stand in front of. We took a vote at our house.
    Frugal 2 – Spender – 0.
    Frugal wins.

    1. Haha, tell me more about your “ugly screen”, did it have lasers? We passed on school photos this year too. I figure in the digital age, there are plenty of high-quality photos of the children that we can print out and send to relatives.

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