Monday, July 13, 2009

Believe it or Not it is Time to Think about School Supplies

Whether you are home schooling or your children will be returning to the classroom in the fall, it is time to think about school supplies. This year in particular stores are hungry for revenue and back to school supplies are on sale even earlier than usual. For those who like to get bargains and stock up for home, school, and Christmas, now is the time to check your budget and see where you have the money to put towards savings.

For home schooling families this is a great time to consider your home school supplies for the year. While you may not follow the traditional school calendar year, retail stores do. The benefits of planning and storing supplies for future use are many. This is also a time to consider what your needs for Christmas might be as well. Crayola products make great stocking stuffers. I buy the younger family members art supplies as small stocking stuffers each year. The discount school supplies I buy during the back to school season are the same brand named products I want but the prices are significant cheaper than the prices I find at Christmas. Last year I did some comparison shopping to verify my beliefs. The $.99 Crayola markers I bought during my back to school shopping spree where $3.49 at Christmas. I never found any prices at Christmas to compare to the back to school supplies I bought and stored for later use.

This is also time to consider some charitable donations. Teachers are often desperate for classroom supplies. This is why you receive the lists. Consider donating something extra on the list you receive to the classroom. Do check in with the teacher during the year. That one box of tissues sent at the beginning of the school year rarely lasts the fall allergy season. Be fair, if the school system provided tissues and the other supplies, the teacher would not ask for them. You are a taxpayer. If you do not like how the system spends your money, get involved. Do not punish the teacher who is already subsidizing the system buying teaching supplies and many other school supplies at his or her own expense. Your local teachers go a good distance in subsidizing your child’s education. Contributing a box of tissues, some markers, or sticky notes occasionally really is not asking as much as you may think.

There are also local charities that collect school supplies to donate to those in need. This year the requests are higher than ever. If you find some good bargains consider donating to these worthy charities. An extra package of markers or a glue stick does not cost much but combined with other donations, children can go back to school with the required supplies. Check with the local schools, Churches, or local government agencies. Many can point you in the right direction for getting involved. Try doing an on-line search for backpack programs.

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