The weekly ads call to you with $.15 notebooks and $.24 crayons; they lure you into their stores offering deals too good to miss. You walk through the large doors and see before you colorful papers listing all of the "essentials" of back to school. The are so well organized, listing supplies based on grade level. If it's on the list your child must NEED it.
Honestly, back to school time is one of my favorite times of the year. The fresh, never sharpened pencils, notebooks waiting to be filled, crayons itching to be used call to me from across the store. I can't go to a super store in August without taking a stroll down the school supply aisle, but a stroll is where it usually ends. I admire the shiny new folders and notebooks but leave them on their shelves for others to heed their call.
Why? I have five children, three who will be going back to school this month. Don't they need everything on the brightly colored lists so kindly provided by office supply and super stores? The answer is usually NO!
Most teachers will provide you with a list of supplies that your child will need for the school year. Luckily, my children's school holds their back to school night a week or so prior to the start of school, so we can find out ahead of time what our students will need for the year. Even if you do not get this information before the start of school, it will usually be given on the first day of school (along with all of the other paperwork that usually comes home in that first week).
By waiting until you know exactly what they will need before purchasing your school supplies you can save a great deal of money by not buying unnecessary items. A book bag, a few pencils/pens/erasers, and a small supply of paper or a notebook are all your child should require for the first day of school.
*image from google image search