Sunday, August 21, 2016

School Supplies: Shopping At Home First....

You know all those great back to school sales that places like Target, Walmart, and even Staples has right before school starts?  And, how if you shop early and smart you can get your children's school supplies for almost nothing?

Yeah, well we don't get to take advantage of those savings for the most part.


Because our school teachers are extremely picky you see...

For example, Teacher X wants you to have a 2 1/2 inch binder...not 2 inch and not 3 inch.  Exactly what they substitutions allowed.  And, Teacher Y needs you to have a 1/2 inch binder with exactly three dividers inside filled with college ruled paper.  And, Teacher Z.... well, you get the drift.

Oh, and guess what?

You don't find this out until after the school year starts...

But, it gets even better...

Most of the teachers will actually give your kids a GRADE for compliance to their specifications.

Maybe all school systems do this?  I don't know but it irks me that ours does.


I have finally gotten (semi) smart and decided to take stock in what we still have leftover from previous years and what we have isn't too shabby!

I don't have to buy any highlighters, pens, or pencils.  I have two full reams of loose leaf paper still in their packaging.  I unearthed a tab divider kit still unopened as well.  And, two black "book sox" since the old school way of using paper grocery bags doesn't cut it anymore in our school system.

Also, G1's binders from last year are in pretty stellar condition because they primarily stayed home as the teacher assigned systems  didn't work for her learning style.  (But still had to be purchased for the compliance grades since some of the teachers assign grades equivalent to test scores for this.)  So, I have five binders of various sizes that G1 is more than willing to reuse (each has a bunch of clean notebook paper in them too!) and, if the binders don't coincide with G1's classes, then I plan on passing them on to G2 if they work within her teachers' guidelines.

In past years I would "feel bad" about reusing this kind of stuff but not anymore.

The Guppies are on board as well since I have a specific dollar amount set aside for school supplies and the beginning of back to school clothes - I plan on spending a little each month on more clothing as the cooler weather comes and the need arises.  They know the less I need to spend on supplies equals the MORE I can spend on clothing  and "fun" stuff.

I think slowly but surely we are all starting to "get it".

Happy Sunday!


  1. Love it! We have to buy our books for school. I'm done with those friggin book socks! A college friend is a librarian in her town and turned me on to the plastic laminate cover stuff they use to make paperbacks more durable. I'm ordering some tonight on Amazon to see if it works.
    Our school lockers are narrow and the book sox would get torn by thanksgiving

    1. Love the laminate idea! But, ofcourse that's not going to fly in the public school setting where you return the book at the end of the year! Good luck with it though!!!
      The school lockers at the high school are also very narrow so we will see how long it takes before the box soxs are demolished!

  2. As an educator myself, these rules of compliance are bizarre. Do the teachers sometimes take the binders overnight? Do they need to fit into a certain bag? Is it about getting them to follow specific directions? I am curious.

    1. The teachers do not collect them at all nor do they need to fit into a specified bag. I don't know if it has anything to do with following instructions, but, seriously, at the high school level I think students should be responsible for their own organization and be able to adjust it to their individual needs. For G1, these specifications are usually a complete waste of money since these systems don't work for her. Sandie, you know the town I live in and you probably also know it's pretty notorious for being considered "rich" so I guess the teachers think everyone who lives here has money to spare? Honestly, I think I would be less angry about it if we were given supply lists before the beginning of school so we could take advantage of some of the sales but no such luck.

  3. I did the same thing this year, mostly because we are overrun with colored pencils, markers, binders, pencil boxes, etc! The kids were not thrilled that I packaged up a complete set up colored pencils with a rubber band & sent that in vs a new box. However, I did explain that I saved a bunch of money buying school supplies this year, and added the savings to their college accounts. That helped. ;-)

    1. Glad to see I'm in good company! It helps when the kids are old enough to see the bottom line....especially when I talked in their "currency" (more money for new clothes)! LOL