Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back to School....ALREADY???

Our local news had a Back to School segment where the woman said she would spend around $200 on her kids for back to school shopping. I was shocked! She had 4 school age kids, so that is $50 a kid!!

Are you getting your kids ready for back to school? I am done with our back to school shopping except for buying head phones, which I will pick up at the Dollar Store, because they just need them for computer time so I am not going to get expensive ones for them to damage. How much to you spend per child? What do you do to save money? Do you reuse supplies from year to year?

Here is an example of my kids list and what we did to save money. Maybe it can help some of you out or give you ideas! Also, feel free to share with me your ideas! I would love to hear them!

My daughter's list:
2 spiral notebooks....19 cents each after Menards Rebate
6 Folders with 2 pockets each...picked up last year after the school clearance for .15 cents each
12 New #2 Pencils...picked up free
2 red pens, 2 blue free from Target/Bic Deal
1 pkg of loose leaf paper....39 cents after Menards Rebate
1 Eraser...picked up a 5 pack of erasers at Menards for .39 cents after rebate, will split the package between the two kids
1 box of Colored pencils.....39 cents after Menards Rebate
1 box of Facial Tissue...69 cents at Aldis
1 Highlighter.....39 cents after Menards Rebate
1 Scissors...39 cents after Menards Rebate
1 Ruler, metric and inch....39 cents after Menards Rebate
1 Large Glue Stick...had some left over from last year. Still would like to find a deal on these and stock pile them. :)
1 box of Markers....39 cents after Menards Rebate
4 Black Dry Erase Markers and a Dry Erase Eraser ( Haven't gotten that yet!)
1 set of headphones ( haven't gotten yet. will buy at the dollar store)
1 3 ring binder for Art Class....$1.99 after coupons at Target
1 pair of gym tennies, $3.00 on clearance at Walmart this summer

Daughters: $9.69 plus tax, not including the Dry Eraser stuff which I still have to find and the headphones which I still haven't bought. Granted, I have to wait to get my money back on the rebates, but Menards is great about rebates!

My son's list:
2 composition notebooks -wide rules, had one in stockpile, need to buy one more
1 pair of pointed scissors, had them left over from last year. Gave them a good cleaning.
1 box of washable markers.....39 cents after Menards rebate
1 ruler, metric and inch.... .39 cents after Menards Rebate.
1 box of crayons... Free at Walgreens after RR's
24 new sharpened pencils...Free
5 pencil top erasers...picked up last year for .20 cents a 15 count package, kept in stockpile
1 8 oz bottle of glue.... .19 cents after rebate
4 large glue sticks...left over from last year, kept in stockpile
1 small supply box...left over from last year, gave it a good cleaning
1 pair of gym shoes...bought at Walmart on clearance for $3.00
1 box of facial tissues...69 cents at Aldis
1 box colored pencils...39 cents from Menards Rebate
1 set of headphones for the computer, need to pick up at the dollar store
1 three ring binder for Art Class....$1.99 at Target with coupons

Sons: $7.24 and tax, not including the composition book I need to pick up and the headphones.

So, even if I spend another $15.00 on those few things ( just for example), I would spend $31.93 for 2 kids. In my stockpile, I have been stocking pens, notebooks, loose leaf paper, markers, scissors, sticky notes, calculators, compasses, protractors, pencils sharpeners, erasers, etc for the rest of the school year and for starting a stockpile for next year. I have one Rubbermaid bin with school supplies. So, I have no plans on buying supplies throughout the school year. OH Also, backpacks!! Menards had the cheap ones for .99 cents after rebate. I didn't buy any this year but I have 4 stockpiled from last year, so my kids are still using their backpacks from last year, but should we have a zipper break or fabric rip, I can replace it with a cheap backpack in my stockpile.

Again, post your ideas in the comment sections!


pennyscents said...

BTS shopping is a lot less expensive when the kids are little. It is easy for me to buy the lil ones clothes on clearance the year before. I just get one size bigger. Both of my lil ones have their birthdays right around X-mas time too. I always ask people to get them one size up than their current size, as they have all the fall/winter clothes that they need already half way through winter. That way BTS clothes are already taken care of for those two. I did get my son a $30.00 pair of shoes from JCP (I had a $10.00 off code, plus free shipping). My daughter already has a pair of new sneakers that I picked up on clearance. I may need to find another clearance/cheap pair for her to keep at school for gym.
I too have a stockpile of lil school supply items that I pick up whenever the price is right. I don't really have to even buy that much this year, because of what I already have from various sales, clearance, coupons, etc...

Now onto my 15 year old. I can not buy his clothes ahead of time, because he grows way too much. He actually grew 3" last year. My 15 yr old is 6' tall. Him & I do look together for good sales. Aeropostle is actually reasonably priced ($25. jeans, remember we are talking men's sizes)& they have coupons where you get $10.00 off every $50.00 you spend too. My son works too, so I do have him pay for part of his clothes. School supplies for him are also very expensive. Last year he needed a $150.00 calculator for his advanced math class. In the 8th grade he needed a $80.00 one. I told him this time to ask his teacher for a calculator that he can use for the next 4 years, as I do not want to buy a new calculator every year. I suppose I could've tried e-bay or something, but I really like Office Max's max assurance plans. Anything happens to that calculator & I got re-reimbursed the full value via OM gift card. Plus, we do not get supply lists ahead of time in high school. The teachers hand out their individual supply lists the 1st day of school, and you need it all by the following week. I just sent the school a $200.00 check too; $60.00 registration, $50.00 athletic fee (cross country), $50.00 for his yearbook, and $20.00 for his athletic pass to get into games ($5. a game without the pass). Thank goodness he has his running shoes already ($127.00). His running clothes last year were a lil over $100.00. Thankfully what he has still fits him this year. So far, anyways. I did have a small heart attack when I saw all the fees once he started HS. Big difference in expenses!!! I don't even want to total up what I had to spend last year on him. Well over the $50.00 per kid that you mention in your post!

I bought all of them backpacks this year that will be free after getting re-reimbursed via Office Max gift card.

Frugalmommie said...

WOW PENNY! That is ALOT of fees for school! My kids school has a $20 fee per kid, I think that is your school is EXPENSIVE! WOW!

Frugalmommie said...

THis was emailed to me by a reader named JOLENE:

Every year, the last day of school, they come home with all of their supplies. I go throw them right away. If they are in decent condition they will be used AGAIN the following year. IF they are just ok... I will still save them and they will use them for their art supplies home here. If they are all really bad.... and seen better days and paid their dues... then they are off to the garbage. I had to buy back packs this yr tho. :( Grr... BUT! I didnt have to get them for the past 2-3yrs, so I guess, I did good there. I got each kid a $15 one.... at JCPenny's, and I have 3 kids. I looked all around to find the best for my price that I am willing to buy. So, I am hopen they last again... for 2-3yrs. My boys ages are, 5,7,9 (or will be in short months from now). They are not really rough on their things so I am lucky there.

What gets me is this, teachers ask us to get all of these supplies and then they come home with aLOT of them, NOT used!! So now I just get the basics and then IF they need them, I tell the teachers to let me know. I will not buy for the classroom for the pencils - like they ask. I donate them..... they are not the #2 kind, but they work just fine. They are the ones that the kids get for parties...... u know those ones that I am talking about. Also, my Grandma gets pencils from North Praire Fire Dept. Those go there as well. I havnt gotten pencils for my kids in a long time.... I have soo many from the parties they get during school.

I just am in shock when people say, Yeh we went and got back to school clothes today...and spent about $100 on each kid or so!! Im like WHAT? Did they NEED that many clothes? AND isnt Christmas just kinda around the corner and IF thy are older, cant THEY get a job to get their OWN clothes THEY WANT for themselves? REALLY? Wow.... I dont buy my kids back to school clothes. I only buy when they need them AND if I see them on clearence so I can stock up. I dont buy an extra pair of shoes for gym. Not going to do it. Never. They have one pair and one pair of sandles. The kids grow soo damn fast that its not worth my money. I do my best in finding the wht bottoms tho for the gym. Not always can I do that tho. With my budget and the size of the kids feet... and the arches.... I cant get teh "cheap" ones. My son who is 7, has bad heels like his dad, so I have to get the solid shoes. I rather pay the extra $10 for shoes, than an ER visit or something, u know? I know tht they could easily go to an ER for wearing those shoes too..... but..... I want them to be comfortable wearing shoes, right? Somethings I am cheap on and somethigns..... I spend a little extra on.

Walgreens had some good sales on back to school sales as well. Folders for .9 each and high lighters .19. I got the Mendards deals as well!! :)

I really dont know how much I spend on my kids for back to school to be honest. I do know that when its gets closer to school year, the prices will drop more and more. Like Crayons.... .20 a box for crayola and Elmers Glue .20 as well for a 2 pack glue sticks. I pick up more so I have a stock pile for the year.

Frugalmommie said...

Jolene, I agree about the shoes..if the child needs them for specific medical purpose, you have to buy the more expensive ones.

Anonymous said...

I agree with pennyscents that it is easier when they are younger. My middle schooler's list is long, but I think I did pretty well. Now I should tell you I am a teacher so on certain days I get 20% off at Staples and Officemax.

Pencils-he only uses mechanical since he is a lead breaker and this avoids lost learning time to sharpen pencils--anyway plenty left from last year

Pens-99 cents Target
Multicolor pack highlighters-$1.80 Officemax
Flash drive-$8.00 4g OfficeMax
Erasers-4 for 80 cents Staples-split between two kids
Glue sticks--50 cents for 4 at Staples
Markers--79 cents Target
Colored Pencils--64 cents Staples
Large student scissors--$1.50 Officemax
Ream of white copy paper-1 cent after Staples rebate
2-1 1/2" 3-ring binders-stockpile and free from Staples in teacher bag
Scientific calculator-$8.00 Officemax
2-Looseleaf paper--50 cents each
3 subject notebook $1.80 Officemax
2 Folders--we get the poly ones cause wet clothes in the bag can destroy the others and we always have wet clothes in the bag in WI in winter--25 cents each Officemax
5 composition notebooks-40 cents each at Staples
3 packets of Post-its--$4.00 for 6 at Staples (not as good a your free deal, but we do not shop at Walmart)

All in all, I was happy get away with under $30 for his supplies. We will be ordering him a more expensive backpack for 2 reasons-1 Cheap ones are often to small to hold his organizer and books
2. He destroyed 5 cheap ones last year-we are going to try a new plan of attack this year.

As for fees; registration, band instrument rental, athletic fee, locks (you have to buy theirs), and other fees will run over $100.

My daughter is in elementary school and her list is long too, but inexpensive and so I probably spent about $15 on her supplies (I let her get the big packs of crayons and color pencils) and her fee is only $35.

That all said, I am also spending money on supplies for my classroom. I do not have a classroom budget and anything that the parents do not send, I have to pay for myself. I can't count on parents like Jolene to send everything, so when crayons, markers, and pencils are discounted I have to stockpile for my classroom. I also have parents send leftover birthday party pencils, but I rarely use them because my students (kindergartners) argue over who gets the princess or the superhero pencil and really they rarely sharpen as well--I don't have time to try to sharpen them until they are stubby.

Sure those school supply lists are long and we all are trying to save money (hey, I haven't had a paycheck since June and won't get one until October 1) but really it is not too much to ask to supply teachers with exactly what they ask for even if your kids don't use it. If they don't use it, save if for next year, donate it, or use it at home. In the end even if you spend all $50, it is less than 30 cents a day for their supplies.

When prices are so good, I even send extra surprises for my kids teachers--$1 calculators for my daughter's class and 80 cent 5 packs of dry erase markers for my son's class--I can afford it with all the money I saved on their supplies.

Frugalmommie said...

WOW! ANON! You got a great plan!!! I agree if you son has gone though 5 backpacks, you need to get him a sturdy one!

Frugalmommie as been on WITI FoxNews6 Television Milwaukee, WTMJ620 Radio, Several local newspapers, The Wisconsin State Journal, and is in a feature article in All You Magazine in the April 2009 edition.