Don’t Waste Your Cash on School Supplies

Wasn’t it just yesterday we let out for summer vacation? And yet the big box stores are already hocking school supplies. Here are some good deals and some helpful tips to help you save money on this year’s supplies:

Target (from 8/1/10):  Rose Art colored pencils, $.50; 12-pack Ticonderoga, $2.; recycled Fiskars scissors, $1; rulers, pink erasers, pencil sharpeners, 20 cents.

Office Depot (from 8/1/10): Copy paper, $1; protractors, 5 cents; Scissor two-packs, 99 cents; TI30SXII Calculators, $12.99; 4-pack Expo markers, $3.00; DON’T BUY Office Depot brand rulers (they don’t show metrics), glue sticks (they don’t work at all), or pencils (merely food for the pencil sharpeners).

Staples (from 8/1/10): Avery 5-tab dividers, 59 cents; Avery 3-pack glue sticks, $1

Fred Meyer (from 8/1/10): 2-pack pink erasers, 49 cents; Avery 3-pack glue stick, $1.39; Earth’s Choice 1.5″ binder, $2.49; Jansport backpack, $14.99.  DON’T BUY Office Works pencils, not even for 33 cents a pack.

Fred Meyer (from 7/25/10):
* 24 pack Crayola crayons—25 cents
* Protractors, rulers, Pink Pearl-type erasers, cheapo scissors—33 cents
* Avery 6-pack glue sticks—buy one get one free (Avery is one of the better glue-stick brands, and kids go through glue sticks like crazy)

Staples (coupons in 7/25/10 MMT):
*500-sheet ream of copy paper—1 cent!
*Ticonderoga pencils, 12 pack–$1 (this really is the world’s best pencil, well worth the money)
* TI-30SXIIS calculator–$13.99 (this calculator is required through 8th grade; buy it once and use it for four years!)

Office Depot (from 7/25/10):
* 6-pack notebooks (70 pages)—50 cents
* Acrylic rulers—5 cents (make sure it shows inches and centimeters)
* 500 sheet ream HP office paper—95 cents
* Fiskars scissors—$3.00
* Ticonderoga pencils–buy one get one
* Expo dry erase markers–buy one get one

Target (from 7/25/10):
* TI-30XIIS Calculator–$9.00 (the official D6 calc, and in various colors too!)
* Binder bundle (1.5” binder,  dividers, pocket, ruler)–$2.50 (this is all the binder my students need)
* Elmer’s 6-pack glue sticks–$1.00 (Elmer’s is okay, but avoid all generic store brands)

This year we’ve tried hard to minimize the school supply requirements, but know that your child’s school supplies are his tools for success. Going without leads to failure, and going cheap just means you’ll have to replace later. If financial difficulties prevent you from buying supplies, some assistance is available.

No need to buy wet wipes, hand sanitizer, or paper towels—we have plenty stocked up; no need to buy three dozen pencils. Buy just 2 dozen; better yet, if you’re buying Ticonderoga, buy just 1 dozen!

Student binders need not be fancy, just functional.  If they come with a pocket, it’s helpful, but if not, add a pocket folder. You also need to buy dividers. Middle school is all about binder management, so binder organization in 5th grade is a step in that direction.

If you need the official CPE school supply list: click here. If you’d like the Room 15 version identifying all the stuff you don’t need and preferences for the rest, click here.