We are in the middle of a heat wave here on the East Coast, with temperatures more than 100 degrees today. The kids are alternating between helping their father do some landscaping on his day off and running through a sprinkler set up on the driveway. It is definitely a scorcher. Meanwhile, I am in the house, preparing for back to school.
Yes, that seems strange, and no, we don’t have a year around school here. But now is a good time to get started on back to school, because it helps to save money.
Shortly after the Fourth of July holiday, the stores begin gearing up for back to school sales. Summer stuff starts showing up in clearance, and the aisle are cleared for all of the pencils, crayons, paper, notebooks and backpacks. At the same time, yard sales are in full swing, giving another opportunity to get those supplies for rock bottom prices.
So here is what I do. I go on to our school’s website and get a list of all the supplies that will be needed for my children. The list is organized by grade, and this coming year, I will have two kids in school. While the official list for the coming year isn’t released until the week school begins, I find that the list never seems to change, so going off of the previous supply list (which is still available online) works well.
Next, I take the lists and go through the school supplies that we already have on hand. Some supplies I bought in the previous year’s sales in anticipation. Some of those were used up with replacement items through the year, such as new crayons or pencils. Next, I’ll go through my eldest son’s backpack to see what can be salvaged. The required pencil bag, for example, is the same as the one from last year. If it is in good enough shape, then I won’t have to purchase a new one. Rulers are another items that can generally be used for more than one year at a time.
When I am done going through everything, I’ll have a short list of one or two items that I can then purchase for pennies. Having everything ready and avoiding the back to school rush is also a blessing.
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