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  • Liann Walborsky
    Liann Walborsky
    » Communications Manager, Tech CU
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    yes, it's back-to-school time!

    August 22, 2012 Posted by: Liann Walborsky

    Heading into an Office Depot last night, I saw the packed parking lot and knew, yes, it was time for back-to-school shopping. It amazes me that every year I receive a list about a mile long of school items my current third grader (formerly a first and second grader) must have for school. We probably have five Crayola boxes of 100 mixed colors. Why must I buy these anew every year — don’t crayons last? And, the list goes on…erasers, gluesticks, pencils, pens, new backpack, new lunchbox and a bill at the end that often leaves me in a state of shock.  

    What to do? Well, it appears we can’t quite get out of buying all of those shiny new school supplies… so here are a couple of ways to lower the amount you spend each fall.  

    1. You can be pretty certain that pink pearl erasers will always be on the list of necessary items. Why not buy in bulk and have a “new” package waiting for your child for the next school year. Also, many of the necessary items go on sale about two weeks into September (once the retailers know they’ve already got you). Take the time to buy extra items on sale and keep them safely stored away. Don’t forget where you’ve placed them.  
    2. Did you know that stores like Target always have pencils, pens, paper and notebooks? And, these are often cheaper earlier in the summer. Start your shopping early. You basically know what your kids need and there is no hard and fast rule that all school shopping must be done the last week of August.  
    3. I have a friend whose daughter often gives us clothing she has outgrown. Why not do this with some school supplies? Maybe a neighbor has a lovely backpack that was hardly used, or a new lunchbox that never came out of storage. Ask around. You never know what people have to pass on or swap.  
    4. Not everything has to be replaced — how many rulers does one person need? Take an inventory of what you’ve still got around from last year and cross those items off of your list.  
    5. Let your kids know that heading into the school supply aisle is not a free for all. They should understand that a budget is in place and many of those extras (purple fuzzy pencils) are not really necessary. They’ll also end up stuck behind your car seat at some point in November, anyway.  
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