School! Schooool!!!! It's almost time!

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girlisrad's picture
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School! Schooool!!!! It's almost time!

JUMP FOR JOY!!! School is almost here... or getting close enough anyway!!!

If you have school age children, then you are jumping with me Wink If not, trust us, this is a joyous occasion.

What is NOT so great though, is the COST. Between supplies, clothes (uniforms) and other "requested fees." It can be painful.

And Home school Mama's we are not leaving you out here! I know what those materials can cost! OUCH!!!

Thought we could all share our tips/hints on how to save some cash this school year! Or just vent, lol.. that works too Blum 3

Got any ideas???

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So here is what I am doing this year:

*NOT rushing out to get new school clothes. He still fits in last years, and because winter wont technically hit until October-ish, I can get away with shorts/tees until then. I always used to rush out and buy all new gear, but I am waiting until the school rush is over...then I can hit the mega sales Smile

*Yard Sales! I found him a great brand new backpack for $1, and a few other things that were in great shape. That will prolly save me $20 or more right there!

*No supplies! Well, this is not my choice, but this year his teacher prefers a check VS us doing the shopping. I am not sure if the balance of cash is the same, but It will be nice not be forced to buy the "brand names" like most teachers request!! And I won't be overspending either!

* Setting up a "homework box" this year. Full of pencils, erasers, pens, crayons, etc... all in one place, STAYS in one place. This way I am not tempted to just buy MORE when I have plenty at home that I cannot find LOLOLOLOL!!!!

Thats all I got for now!

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Clothing: We don't have uniforms at our school. I will usually buy them a new "back to school" outfit but I do not buy them whole new wardrobes to start off the year... I buy stuff as needed all year 'round. And even if I do buy them new clothes at any point, I hit up the sales and one of our really good second-hand stores (where I often find stuff brand new/almost brand new). Last years indoor shoes, if they still fit and are in decent condition, get recycled as this years "outdoor shoes"... that way I (usually) only have to buy one new pair of school shoes (though my SIL passes stuff down from her dd and my sister from her ds so sometimes I even luck out there on almost-new shoes).

School supplies: At our school we do get a list at the end of the previous year, but we only have to buy for our own child(ren) vs the classroom. So it doesn't matter if it's brand name stuff or not... I still usually stick with Crayola for pencil crayons/markers but often I can find them (and most the other stuff they need) on sale or cheap at the dollar/discount stores. The only thing they sometimes ask for class-wise is a box of Kleenex... which I don't mind sending, in fact I try to send in a box each month for the classroom. Backpacks are going to get destroyed so I refuse to spend an arm and a leg on a new one or character one. I'd much rather buy a basic decent one on sale for $5 and then if I do have to replace it partway through the year, I don't feel so bad/am not out so much money. Also, if the ones they ended the year with are still in decent condition they can start the new year out with them as well. Same goes for lunch bags.

Lunch stuff: Last Summer I bought cases of 24 small bottled juice when it was on sale (by the end of the Summer I think I had 9 or 10 cases)... and, though I didn't expect it, it lasted me the ENTIRE school year and I still have 2 cases left actually LOL I am currently buying a sleeve or 2 of juice boxes on sale whenever I go shopping and stockpiling. I will start doing the same with other lunch box treats (granola bars, cheese/crackers, cereal bars, etc) soon too.

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On behalf of all of the teachers on here, I have only one response: :raspberry1:

Wink

In all seriousness, I have to share that my school district has gone against the grain and, despite all of the cuts to our budgets, we no longer send home school supply lists or require purchase of typical school supplies (pencils, notebooks, etc.) Doesn't help with the clothing and other stuff, but it is one less general expense at the beginning of the year for the parents...at least at the elementary level. Seems like the HS gets away with asking for more somehow...

The flip side is, the teachers never get enough $ to be able to purchase everything they need for their classrooms and students and generally make up the difference out of their own pockets. Sad Everything that isn't a clarinet reed, valve oil or a violin string in my classroom comes out of my pocket.

Many teachers still do request the kleenex...beats the sandpaper the schools provide. I know a few teachers who have each student have their own box on their own desk (since the kleenex box is yet another place where germs are passed easily!) Because I don't have a homeroom, but have a 100 students through my room every few days, I go through A LOT of kleenex. I buy it in the bulk packages at BJ's anytime there is both manufacturers and club coupons and stash it away in a closet.

My best hint for school supplies was already mentioned...the dollar store ROCKS! Pencils, erasers, spiral notebooks and folders, even staples.

Also, usually sometime soon Toys 'R Us does a GREAT Crayola sale...usually boxes of crayons, colored pencils and markers for $0.25 each. And, Staples usually soon does a great sale on loose leaf paper and spiral notebooks (like 10 cents each or something like that.) I usually stock up on a bunch and donate it to the classroom of one of the new teachers (where enough stuff never gets ordered the year before.)

Good luck! Although I'm not in a rush to bring an end to summer, I know those of you with kids can't wait! Biggrin

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"celticbandgeek" wrote:

On behalf of all of the teachers on here, I have only one response: :raspberry1:

Wink

In all seriousness, I have to share that my school district has gone against the grain and, despite all of the cuts to our budgets, we no longer send home school supply lists or require purchase of typical school supplies (pencils, notebooks, etc.) Doesn't help with the clothing and other stuff, but it is one less general expense at the beginning of the year for the parents...at least at the elementary level. Seems like the HS gets away with asking for more somehow...

The flip side is, the teachers never get enough $ to be able to purchase everything they need for their classrooms and students and generally make up the difference out of their own pockets. Sad Everything that isn't a clarinet reed, valve oil or a violin string in my classroom comes out of my pocket.

Many teachers still do request the kleenex...beats the sandpaper the schools provide. I know a few teachers who have each student have their own box on their own desk (since the kleenex box is yet another place where germs are passed easily!) Because I don't have a homeroom, but have a 100 students through my room every few days, I go through A LOT of kleenex. I buy it in the bulk packages at BJ's anytime there is both manufacturers and club coupons and stash it away in a closet.

My best hint for school supplies was already mentioned...the dollar store ROCKS! Pencils, erasers, spiral notebooks and folders, even staples.

Also, usually sometime soon Toys 'R Us does a GREAT Crayola sale...usually boxes of crayons, colored pencils and markers for $0.25 each. And, Staples usually soon does a great sale on loose leaf paper and spiral notebooks (like 10 cents each or something like that.) I usually stock up on a bunch and donate it to the classroom of one of the new teachers (where enough stuff never gets ordered the year before.)

Good luck! Although I'm not in a rush to bring an end to summer, I know those of you with kids can't wait! Biggrin

ROFL

LOVE IT!!! They are YOURS!!! LOL!!

I cannot believe they expect teachers to pay for all of that...makes me sick to my stomach. I don't mind buying my kids supplies AT ALL. yes it is expensive, but I cannot imagine making a teacher buy that... you all have your OWN supplies to buy as it is!!!

Nice heads up on those deals too! Thank you!

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"girlisrad" wrote:

ROFL

LOVE IT!!! They are YOURS!!! LOL!!

I cannot believe they expect teachers to pay for all of that...makes me sick to my stomach. I don't mind buying my kids supplies AT ALL. yes it is expensive, but I cannot imagine making a teacher buy that... you all have your OWN supplies to buy as it is!!!

Nice heads up on those deals too! Thank you!

In theory it comes from the budget and what we get for classroom supplies. And that's what the parents and community are told. They would never saythat they expect the teachers to buy all that stuff. It's just what tends to happen if we want students to have things that we can't squeeze out of the classroom budget. They did it because there is such a huge variation in socio-economic status in our district, with about 40% free & reduced lunch. We had students who came to school with every "extra" their parents could buy, and many who came with absolutely nothing and the school had to give to them anyway. The idea was this took away the stigma of who "had" and who had to rely on the school.

Our classroom teachers (I'm a "specialist") can get the basics of what they need from the budget. But, with 20 kids or so and a few hundred dollars budget, if you want something special, or you run out of crayons, erasers and paper in March, you do what ya gotta do.

ETA: Sorry...kind of hijacked the thread there! Back to those money-saving ideas! Biggrin

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"celticbandgeek" wrote:

In theory it comes from the budget and what we get for classroom supplies. And that's what the parents and community are told. They would never saythat they expect the teachers to buy all that stuff. It's just what tends to happen if we want students to have things that we can't squeeze out of the classroom budget. They did it because there is such a huge variation in socio-economic status in our district, with about 40% free & reduced lunch. We had students who came to school with every "extra" their parents could buy, and many who came with absolutely nothing and the school had to give to them anyway. The idea was this took away the stigma of who "had" and who had to rely on the school.

Our classroom teachers (I'm a "specialist") can get the basics of what they need from the budget. But, with 20 kids or so and a few hundred dollars budget, if you want something special, or you run out of crayons, erasers and paper in March, you do what ya gotta do.

ETA: Sorry...kind of hijacked the thread there! Back to those money-saving ideas! Biggrin

I don't think its a hijack AT ALL.. parents need to know the truth about what really happens. I think like the students, parents kind of think of school as this magical place where things just appear! LOL! I know I thought that! And that is SO not the case....

At Ryans school the teachers get no allowances, and from what I was told by his 1st grade teacher they were also responsible for purchasing their own copy paper, among other items. I was in shock to say the least! Aside from the library within the school teachers must purchase their own classroom books as well (not learning books, but the "fun" reading kinds) They rely heavily on the scholastic program to help them get what they need.

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"celticbandgeek" wrote:

On behalf of all of the teachers on here, I have only one response: :raspberry1:

Good luck! Although I'm not in a rush to bring an end to summer, I know those of you with kids can't wait! Biggrin

:biglaugh:

I started working at the school as a student/lunch supervisor during the nutrition/recess breaks this past Spring... and believe me, by the end of the year half of me was counting down the days. However, the other half of me was a very strong proponent of year-round schooling... why DO kids need TWO months off anyway?!!? Better to keep them in school 12 months of the year, that way they don't get out of routine/forget everything they learnt over the Summer/etc.etc.etc. And with our Summer vacation only half over... I'm even MORE for year-round school! :twisted:

ROFL

Seriously (not that I wasn't serious above.... :Whistle:) I don't have any idea how much each teacher is budgeted but I do know that they do supply a LOT of "extras" (and even not-so-extras) from their own pocket. The kleenex is one example... but even with pencils/etc... the kids are asked to supply their own but they aren't going to let any kid go without, kwim? And yes, usually that stuff ends up coming out of pocket.

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Well, DD starts pre-school in Sept!! I cannot believe it, that I have to buy her a uniform haha. I honestly, doubt anything will fit her so she'll be walking around like a little hobo child for a few months lol!

When do your kids finish school for summer and then go back? They just finished for summer here and aren't back until the 2nd week of Sept.

xx

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"Minx_Kristi" wrote:

When do your kids finish school for summer and then go back? They just finished for summer here and aren't back until the 2nd week of Sept.

In the US it seems to be all over the place for start/finish dates. In Canada... I think it is usually end of June they are finished and they tend to go back the Tuesday after Labour Day in September... this year that is Sept 6th I believe (I could be wrong and they could vary by province too... somebody will correct me if I am :)).

Anyway, this year most kids in Ontario got out around June 30th... that was a little "late" (normally it's in the June 24-27th range) because Labour Day was "late". Last year because of the "late" Labour Day they sent them back around August 30th (a week early) in some parts of Ontario and that raised huge stinks so this year I think most of our school boards opted back to the "regular" start.

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As a single mom who is not geting her childsupport this is my plan....the dollar store!!!!!! I got everything Peter needed last year at one and spent less then $15. We have Summer birthdays and they have all the cloths they need so my big expence this year will be book bags and I am thinking LLB so if they brake each year we can do the return program. If anyone sees a sale on LLB let me know with a PM.

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"mujul79" wrote:

As a single mom who is not geting her childsupport this is my plan....the dollar store!!!!!! I got everything Peter needed last year at one and spent less then $15. We have Summer birthdays and they have all the cloths they need so my big expence this year will be book bags and I am thinking LLB so if they brake each year we can do the return program. If anyone sees a sale on LLB let me know with a PM.

LLB Backpacks are the best...worth the extra investment. I bought one during my Sophomore year in college after destroying 5 backpacks in a year and half. I STILL have it and other than a little fading, there's hardly a mark on it! (Should mention, I was a sophomore in 1990!!!!) Definitely a good return on investment!

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Our elementary school does 'School Kits', where you place an order in the spring and they deliver all the school supplies directly to the school in a box with your child's name in time for Open House. We didn't do it this year though, they didn't offer it for kindergarten and after looking over the 2nd grade list I didn't feel it was worth the money this year. Walmart and Target have great sales come August so I'm doing our supply shopping next week. I'm fortunate in that DD1's birthday was Wednesday and the grandmas both like to help out with clothes shopping as some of her birthday presents. All she really needs now is new panties/socks and long sleeve shirts (same with my DD2 since she gets clothes passed down, shirts don't tend to pass down as well). So that's all we'll be buying. I have $30 worth of coupons for The Children's Place from when I bought a pair of jeans for each of the kids the other week so I'll use those next week for some shirts. Once their tastes start to stay the same Lol I plan on getting each a Jansport backpack since they have fun prints/colors and hold up well but for now we're going with $10 backpacks for each child. They both get a new lunchbox this year too since I'm using tupperware instead of plastic baggies so we'll need bigger than what we have. I saw some cute ones that will fit everything with an included water bottle at Target, those were at least $10 a piece too but they seem like they'll last at least 2 years. That's all I plan on buying. I'm thinking it'll be less than $200 for everything including clothes. We'll wait on clothes for DS until it starts getting cooler outside, I know a lot of his stuff from last winter still fits. As a bonus last winter when everything went on clearance I got all the kids winter coats in the next size up, so that's already done!

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@Mandi how is that that we have kids in 2nd!!!

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I'm a teacher so enjoying summer with my son! Love it! A month to go ..... Wink

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Toys 'R Us sale I mentioned is THIS week! Not quite as I remembered, but still decent deals:

Crayola 24-ct classic - 4/$1 (you do have to buy 4)
Crayola 12-ct colored pencils and Crayola scissors - $1 each
Most Crayola 8-ct markers - $3/pack
Twistable crayons and 64-ct box (plus some other stuff) $4 each
They also have a free lunch kit (up to $9.99 value) free with a backpack of $12.99 or more.

I usually go through all my sale flyers in the paper, so I thought I'd just share some of the other stuff I found! Apologies if it is a store not available in your area. Sometime the prices vary by region as well. I'm in NJ, so they should at least be accurate for the northeast.

Target -
6-ct Elmers glue sticks - $1/package
Fiskars Kids scissors - $1/each (there are really good scissors for that price!)
3-subject notebooks, 1 in ring binders, "fashion" 1-subject notebook, binder pouch - all $2.50 (the binder pencil pouch is cheaper to get from dollar store. )
24-ct Ticonderoga pencils and Five Star 1-subject notebooks -$3.50

Wasn't impressed with most of the rest of what's in their flyer, but they always have those lovely bins full of stuff!

Walgreens -
High Trails or Anchorage backpacks or book bags. BOGO free. ($9.99 or higher on first.)
1-subject note book, 6-ct papermate highlighters - $0.39 each
130 ct filler paper, 80 sheet composition book - $0.59
Wexford 2 pocket folder with prongs - $0.11 each (limit 6)

They have some other good deals with coupons from their flyer, so if you can get your hands on one it includes Those same Fiskars scissors as Target, but $0.79, and some other good stuff.

Walmart - (not a big fan, but I'll go in for a really good sale if I have to.)

1-subject notebook - $0.20
Crayola 8-ct washable markers - $1.97

Kmart (if you still have one)
Crayola 24-count crayons - $0.24 (limit 4)
Free lunch kit (certain ones, $5.99 value) with any backpack purchase.

Staples -
2-pk sharpie highlighters - $0.10 (they also have their own pencils for that price. My experience with these as the person who did purchasing for my school for awhile is that they are NOT good pencils. JMHO)
SanDisk 4GB Flash Drive - $5.99 (limit 2)
Poly-covered 1-subject notebook and Avery 5-tab dividers - $0.50 (limit 3 notebooks, 2 divider packs)

They have a bunch of other stuff for $1, $2 & $3, including Crayola comparably priced with the Toys 'R Us sale.

I'll keep my eyes peeled and let you ladies know if I see any other sales!

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There are also lots of coupons out that you can use. If you go to the company websites, there are usually coupons for their products. I know in todays paper there is a $1 off 2 BIC products so you can get cheap/free pens or pencils with the sales going on.

And ditto the teachers buying lots of supplies. I just got my license and have yet to get a teaching job. However, I have been collecting books for years for my classroom library, as well as hitting up the sales at the beginning of the school year. You can't beat free, penny, and 25 cent items! I have at least 50 packs of crayons stocked up! Here the teachers are given empty rooms with just the kids desks and chairs. Sometimes there is not even a teacher desk. The kids' families are too poor to send supplies so the teachers end up supplying what donation services don't as well as copy paper, chalk, dry erase markers, and teaching materials.

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I'm so excited for my boys to be going back to school... especially my younger son as he's in first grade this year (kindergarden here is a joke, only being 2 1/2 hours long, so I had to drop both boys off in the morning, go back at 11:30AM to pick up Max, then back at 3 to get Reagan!)! It will be just me and DD, that is until her little brother arrives at the end of the year! Thankfully the school district supplies everything that they need for school (except the clothes, backpacks, and lunchboxes of course, lol), so I don't have to shop for pencils, binders, markers, things like that. Come on August 29th!!

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I am soooo ready for the school schedule! My kids have their walk through and teacher meet and greet this afternoon - yay!!!

Our school has a PTO supply sale where you just send them the dollar amount and they fulfill the list for you. Then they deliver it to your child's classroom for you.

It costs about $5 more than buying it all separately but it saves me agrivation and time which to me is worth the extra $5. Plus any extra monies go to the PTO.

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"Starryblue702" wrote:

I'm so excited for my boys to be going back to school... especially my younger son as he's in first grade this year (kindergarden here is a joke, only being 2 1/2 hours long, so I had to drop both boys off in the morning, go back at 11:30AM to pick up Max, then back at 3 to get Reagan!)! It will be just me and DD, that is until her little brother arrives at the end of the year! Thankfully the school district supplies everything that they need for school (except the clothes, backpacks, and lunchboxes of course, lol), so I don't have to shop for pencils, binders, markers, things like that. Come on August 29th!!

This is me this year only add in Heath who is going to a hearing impaired preschool!!!

Peter gets the bus at 8:30 and this is the same time that Heath has to be at his school. So my Dad will be putting Peter on the bus for me, while I have the others in the car to drop off Heath (2 towns over). Dive back home so Tessa can get the afternoon bus at 11:30, drive back to pick Heath up by 1:30 and then back home to get Peter and Tessa off the bus at 3:30. I have no clue how I am going to do that once it starts to snow :eek:

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DS is going to kindergarten this year. (eek!) I was pretty excited to get him school supplies, but found out that we're supposed to write a check to the school for him. At first I was disappointed, but I'm definitely seeing the benefits to this plan.

My best friend is a teacher and I can't believe how much she pays for out of pocket.

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I have no kids in school but I love this time of year. Even though traffic gets way worse for me on my way to work - the stores are way less crowded when I take off in the middle of the week sometimes.

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I start next monday!!:eek: summer's over:( but i like my job so i'm good with it.

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Mine goes back Sept 6th also, can't believe how many of you have kids in school already. I like starting later and going later. My little ones BD is the 27th of Aug so its like the final party before summer ends and school begins.

Here we have JK and SK (junior and senior kindergarten) They start JK the year they turn 4, which means even if you turn 4 Dec 31st you can start (which means they are 3 still in sept at the beginning of school) Mine is going into SK, she can't wait LOVES school.

money saving tips. We don't have to do supplies right now, not sure if that changes in grade one or not. We will probably use the same backpack as last year since it is still like new, but I did buy a new lunch bag. Clothing I don't really get a new outfit, but do put her in something a little nicer the first day. But I do love the dollar store for items that she might need at home (ie pencils ect) and Freecycled is always a great place to find items.