I have this love-hate relationship with buying school supplies. I get giddy at the idea of brand new boxes of crayons, beautiful blank notebooks, and freshly sharpened pencils. Shopping for school supplies, however, makes me a little batty. I feel compelled to scour ads for the best deals and spend too much time driving to different stores.
This school year, I’m already done shopping for school supplies. Yep, Two and a half weeks before school starts. I’ve checked everything off both kids’ lists and picked up some extra things for me. Mom deserves some new office supplies, right? I totally shopped for school supplies like a boss.
Don’t worry, I won’t pat myself on the back without sharing my tips. None of us needs to stress about school supplies. You’ll be able get everything you need and have time to chill out with your favorite beverage with these tricks and tips.
How to Buy School Supplies (Like a Boss)
1. Organize your supply lists. With Jaxson starting kindergarten, we now have two supply lists to shop from. Instead going back and forth from the 4th grade list and the kindergarten list, I made a new list. I grouped everything by type and wrote the total amount need. For example, both kids needed blue folders and a box for their pencils.
2. Check last year’s stash. If you’re like me and can’t resist a deal, you probably have extras lying around. I have a bin in our closet where I keep extras or gently used supplies from last school year. Compare your newly organized list to your stash before you start shopping. Why purchase more blue folders when I already have 5 from last year?
3. Buy everything from one store. I know, I know. You’re worried about missing out on deals. Who can resist a box of crayons for a quarter? Trust me, you don’t have time to drive all over town to save 50 cents on a box of crayons. Think of the cost of gas! Stores advertise these rock-bottom prices on a few items to get you in the door, where you’ll end up spending more than you planned.
4. Shop for school supplies online. I have no idea why I’ve never shopped online for school supplies before (See #2 fear of missing out.) This year, I ordered everything from Classroom Direct. Ever the frugal shopper, I was skeptical at first. When I discovered they had 8-counts of Crayola multicultural crayons for only .84 cents each, I was sold! They also had some hard-to-find items, such as a primary composition book. I had no idea these even existed! But I bought 2, just in case. (If you need a pack of green ink pens, they have those too.)
Classroom Direct had everything on our school supply list at very good prices. I even bought our family an electric pencil sharpener for under $30. No more excuses about unsharpened pencils. Guess who ends up sharpening them? Yep, mom.
You also receive free shipping when you order at least $49. My order arrived in less than week. How’s that for low stress shopping?
5. Double up on supplies. What does this mean? Because I was able to save time and money by purchasing our supplies online, I bought multiples of some items to donate. Every teacher I know spends their own money buying supplies for their classrooms. These supplies have to last the entire school year, so why not buy extra? It helps teachers plan ahead.
I bought several classroom packs from Classroom Direct: glue sticks and pencils. They were surprisingly inexpensive. Yes, I also purchased a gross of pencils. Most of these will be donated to Sophia’s classroom because she can never find a pencil when she needs it. I’m sure her classmates have the same problems. The extra glue sticks are going to Jaxson’s teacher.
Extra credit: Buy some multicultural art supplies for your home stash and to donate. In elementary school, kids work on many projects about their families and themselves. Why not give them tools to draw how they see themselves? I picked up multicultural crayons, markers, and pencil colors.
Now pat yourself on the back for buying all of your school supplies without leaving your home. Treat yourself to some chocolate.
Both Jaxson and Sophia are pretty excited to start school. The only thing we have left to do is to buy fall clothes. They’re growing like weeds! It’s a good thing we have some time before the weather cools down.
Have any back to school shopping tips? Share in the comments!