Back to school time is usually a pretty hectic time for everyone – students, parents, and teachers. Shopping for back to school supplies can be fun at times, but it can also be frustrating, confusing, stressful, and a slew of other not so pleasant sensations!
To add to the stress, shopping for back to school supplies can also get expensive very quickly! To help keep your expenses down, make sure you don’t spend money on nonessentials. While you should try to get everything on your student’s back to school supply list, there are most likely a few back to school supplies you don’t need to pick up…
#1. Fancy Schmancy Pens and Pencils
It happens without fail – every year my kids gravitate toward the sparkliest, weirdest, or most character laden pencils in the store. To their dismay, though, they usually end up with the plain old boring #2 pencils. They work just as well and are a fraction of the price. The same goes for fancy, fluffy, feathery, and rainbow colored pens, since basic blue and black work just fine. Save the novelty pens and pencils for stocking stuffers and birthdays.
#2. Pencil Sharpeners
Although a small cost, pencil sharpeners are usually some of those back to school supplies you don’t need to buy. Classrooms have pencil sharpeners in the rooms, making them unnecessary for students to carry. Have your children sharpen a couple pencils at a time to ensure that they have a back up or two at home.
#3. Pretty Tape
All of those really cool rolls of colorful tape with designs on them is tempting, I know, but are they necessary school supplies? I think not. In fact, unless your child’s school supply list specifically states that they need tape, I wouldn’t buy any at all. How often do students really need their own roll of tape in school anyway?
#4. Highlighters and Sharpies
Unless your child is going into college, where they’re actually allowed to use highlighters in textbooks, highlighter aren’t usually an absolute necessity. The same goes for Sharpies, although it pains me to say that. When used properly, these can be great study aids, but chances are they’re more likely to be used to decorate book covers, skin, and even clothing.
#5. Big Ticket Electronics
Most schools already have all of the electronics that your kids will need throughout the year, including computers and printers. There’s really no need to go out and drop a small fortune on brand new electronics. If you absolutely must get a computer for schoolwork, though, save some serious cash by purchasing a used machine. The same goes for a printer.
Always consult your child’s class supply list when shopping for back to school supplies. Some teachers may request some of the items above, but unless certain items that are mentioned specifically, there’s really no reason to purchase them.
If your child has a long list on back to school supplies, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to purchase everything all at once. You can usually purchase just the absolute necessities for the first couple days or weeks and pick up the rest later.
What back to school supplies do you find that your children never need?