Already buying school supplies

@sedel1027 (17855)
United States
June 3, 2007 12:13am CST
Am I crazy for doing this? I don't think so, but I mentioned it to my mother and she was surprised I was buying them already. I figure, I know my son will be in Second Grade and the school sent home the list with their report card - so why not? I can spread buying the items out, so I am not stuck in the rush, worrying about those hard to find items, or not having the money (like $4 for twistable crayons!). Heck, I have already gotten some deals with items on sale for summer. I had joined Posh Points for free and used so of my free points to get items for the school year. By looking at the list early, I was able to save items from 1st grade to use for 2nd grade. Anyone else an early shopper?
14 people like this
28 responses
• United States
3 Jun 07
Heck no, I think you are a pretty smart mama, Do you know how many times I was caught in a pinch, not only not enough money but gezzz supplies were sold out. Ouch that hurts. go for it :)) wish I had the forethought sometimes to do that.
3 people like this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I know some items - like the certain color prong folders - will be a nightmare. This year I think I am more on the ball because I have to replace all of his uniforms which is going to cost a pretty penny, so I have had to think ahead.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Jun 07
I am already on this as well. I am buying school supplies and Christmas stuff. I plan to get a lot of stuff from posh points this year. I just bought 5 bars of dove soap and a dish soap apron. It is so cute on my dish bottle.. It's the care bears. I now need more for stocking stuffers.
2 people like this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
Cool. You are further ahead than I am. I have thought about Christmas but I have to buy all new school uniforms first. I am hoping to keep that below $100, depends on where I can get his shorts and pants, last year I had to buy them all online.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Jun 07
I love the khakis by Ralph Lauren. I buy them at the good will mostly. I always get a great deal on them. You would find a bunch of uniforms with tags still on around August. I love to buy regular skirts and pants Just in the school colors. I am also going to the mall in August just for the shirts and panties.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I did get a good pair of pants at the uniform swap. Unfortunately my son size is the popular one again this year. Their shirts are monogrammed so we have to buy them from a certain shop. Even so they are $10 each and three of his lasted 2 years. What kills me is the shoes and uniform pants & shorts.
1 person likes this
@Gumball (793)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I can only *wish* that my daughter's school had sent home a supplies list. Instead they sent home a school uniform list. :(
2 people like this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
Do you not have to buy supplies? We did get an updated uniform list as well.
@Gumball (793)
• United States
3 Jun 07
Oh, I'll have to buy supplies as well, but that list won't come out until August. Each school and even each grade in each school sends a specified list to the stores as to what each child is required to bring. It varies some each year. My daughter just finished 1st grade and had to change schools in mid-year because we moved to a different area in town. The list for her previous school had completely different items on it than the list I got for the new school. About the only thing I can count on needing will be pencils and crayons. Sometimes they get very specific down to what brands they expect you to buy.
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
4 Jun 07
I thought you were lucky enough to get off of the hook! This year was the first year that some items - like crayons - were brand specific. I think that is unfair because not everyone can afford to spend the name brand price on items.
1 person likes this
@jmcafam (2891)
• United States
3 Jun 07
Buying school supplies is a task we all who care or have children must do and the earlier the better. I have things that I have stock piled from when it was either on clearance from the previous school year. Like you said it is better to get started early for those hard to find items.
2 people like this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I always wonder why school want certain items they know that there will not be enough of - like a certain color folder or type of crayon. I think they want parents to go nuts!
1 person likes this
@jmcafam (2891)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I think so too. My item that drives me crazy is the very large glue stick. I can never seen to find those. So I end up buying a lot of the regular size.
2 people like this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
LOL Where do they come up with these items?
@callarse1 (4793)
• United States
3 Jun 07
No, it's not crazy because you'll be able to find a lot of items already and you won't have to worry about buying them in August. However it's nice to shop around during school time because you can find some low prices on stuff you might use such as pens, note pads, sticky notes, and such. Pablo
2 people like this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
unfortunately you really can buy that far ahead since the lists are different every year. I wish I would have had the list sooner because office Depot ran their big "if you can fit it in the bag it is X% off" sale.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jun 07
I think shopping early for school supplies is a good idea. I mean, when it starts getting closer and closer to school, it's harder to actually find what you want. I know around here, stores sell out pretty quickly on some items. Spreading it out is easier I think because you don't have to worry about spending too much at once or missing out on getting what you need.
2 people like this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
That is true. Here the uniform pants and shorts are not out yet and I know it will be a mad dash once they put the items out. I don't always worry about buying too much because a lot of the items can be found at the dollar store, we have at home (like paper towels), or I saved from the prior year (this year I saved a pencil box, 1 box of crayons, and scissors). I just worry about the hard to find items and the weird items - like twistable crayons.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
3 Jun 07
Me too! You actually did a great job. I thinik you have good organizations skills. I also did shopping for school supplies early so I could avoid the long cue for the cashier, and the people rushing. Also, I could still have enough time in case there are items I have forgotten to buy. Way to go sister!
• United States
3 Jun 07
Looks like we're sharing a brain this week! I love to shop, and was just wondering what my three year old is going to be needing when she gets into kindergarten. That's sometime off, but you can never be too prepared. A friend of mine just sent hers off to kindergarten this past year and spent almost $400 in school supplies for her two kids, new clothes and back packs (in one day!). I was shocked. My husband would go out and live in the garage if I ever pulled a stunt like that. I think she could have taken your advice on stocking up and just bought all the stuff gradually over time and it wouldn't have hit them so hard financially. Thrifty thoughts! That's what keeps us saving so much money. Keep the ideas coming. Cheap moms like us need all the advice we can get.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
$400 on two kids really isn't that much considering. For my son public school uniforms run about $120 if I have to rebuy everything - shirts, pants, shorts, sweatshirt. That is buying the pants & shorts from Wal-Mart. Plus shoes $20 on sale. School fees $25. New back pack (if we are lucky he only needs one a school year) and lunch kit ~$20 (last year I spent $10 on a set from the Disney Clearance section online). Plus supplies ~$80. It all adds up quick!
• United States
3 Jun 07
I think she overindulged her son with a pair of $65 sports shoes for school that he really wanted. It's just a little bit ridiculous to spend that kind of money on a 12 year old. Especially, when she used a coupon to buy her daughter's school shoes for five bucks at the Shoe Carnival. I think she was just playing favorites with her son.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
$65 does seem a bit much, but sometimes you have to pay that for shoes to hold up. I bought my son a pair of $10 ProSpirits from Target and within a week they looked like he had been wearing them for months. Previous to that, my ex had purchased him a pair of New Balance (which I think were around $40) and they did hold up much better. I know my mom use to spend a lot of money on my brother and I for shoes because we were hard on them and it was cheaper for her to put out $65 than have to buy new shoes every other month.
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I don't think you are crazy, I think you are smart! When August hits, it will be a madhouse and things will be picked over! Also, to spread out the spending is smart. All those supplies add up to a hefty price! (I remember well!) My daughter is headed to college this August and I already have her texts! Rather than buy them in the bookstore (which is ALWAYS marked up) I went on ebay and amazon and found all but one of them!!! Don't forget goodwill and garage sales for those uniform necessities!! I know they are big sellers here at the garage sales and at our goodwill!
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I always buy all of my college text books online (when I can find them). Another good place to his are used book stores that buy back college texts. They typically have much better prices than ebay or half.com. Do shop around for the pricing though. I have 6 websites I check out because prices are so vastly different for used books.
• United States
3 Jun 07
Ohhh, I would love to have the URLs for those websites that you check for books! I have sent a 'friend request' so that you can add me. Then you can messge me the links! *wags tail ernestly* Ha!
1 person likes this
@wachit14 (3601)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I think it's great if that's what you want to do. We aren't done with school yet here and the stores don't have any school supplies on sale. They will probably go on sale after July fourth, but since I have one in high school and one starting college, I think I'll wait until I know exactly what they need and that might not be until after school begins.
@wendee (359)
• Canada
3 Jun 07
Paper, pens, pencils dividers are always safe though. I think everyone needs those. Maybe you could start picking that stuff up!
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
With a college kid all you need is one or two notebooks, highlighters and pens. For my sons stuff, I do need the list. I believe there are only 6 items that he used last year that are on this list again this year.
@castleghost (1304)
• United States
3 Jun 07
Actually my fiancee has you beat. She buys most of the children's school supplies the year before when the stores mark everything that they couldn't sell down. She knows most of the basics that the children will need from year to year. She was able to get the packages of six dry erase markers for just fifty cents a piece. New backpacks only cost two dollars each. She actually does this with a lot of the stuff around the house. She buys everything she can when it gets marked down if she thinks that we will have a use for it. There have only been a few items that we haven't found a use for yet.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
3 Jun 07
Good for her. I wish I could do that. There are only a handful of items I could have bought ahead this year.
@vgonz01 (11)
• United States
3 Jun 07
Heck no, you're not crazy. Pretty smart, actually. You sure won't be one of the other thousands of moms who wait until the last minute and aren't able to get everything you need, right?
1 person likes this
@wendee (359)
• Canada
3 Jun 07
Heck no your not crazy! I am planning starting right away! I have a daughter going into kindergarden and a daughter going into grade one. I figure with school fee's, indoor runners, supplies, backpacks, lunchroom fees, & some new school clothes I can't afford NOT to buy them now!
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
3 Jun 07
heck no your just being smart it cost alot just to get our children educated these days so where we can save money we should my baby girls only 15mths and ive opened a bank account to put money into for all her education plus already so it wont cost us as one big some the money will already be there.
1 person likes this
@Woodpigeon (3710)
• Ireland
3 Jun 07
I am really looking forward to buying supplies when I am in San Francisco in a couple of weeks. I will get their wardrobes, rucksacks, lunch boxes, and everything else I can think of while I am there. The prices and variety are so much better than what we can get here, especially with the wharehouse shops. I am with you all the way and like getting all the shopping done as sales present themselves. I guess technically, I stared the school shopping last January when I bought the plane tickets ;-)
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jun 07
One caution, in my area, atleast, the prices are lowest in July and many stores have free after rebate school supplies. I always bought ANY free after rebate school supplies because eventually they'd usually show up on the school supply list. Also, to save money, for next year you might talk to the PTA about doing what my daughter's middle school did. The PTA bought supplies wholesale and volunteers made up packets which they sold at just barely over cost. They used the money they made to provide school supplies to families who couldn't afford them. The best part was you avoided the whole hassle to find the hard-to-find items (also, I think after a few years the PTA started pressuring the teachers to be a little more reasonable.)
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
4 Jun 07
That is a great idea about the PTA. I do hit the free after rebate or the buy one get one free. Many of the stores here are starting to run those deals. Typically they are few and far between starting mid-July or so.
• United States
4 Jun 07
The best part was that so many parents took advantage of this (money was tight for most of us), that there was pretty much no social pressure with regard to having cool notebooks and other trendy school supplies; because the vast majority of kids had the sets choosen by the PTA.
@paidreader (5151)
• United States
4 Jun 07
I'm so glad I don't have to go school supply shopping anymore, lol. Twistable crayons? Oh My! When my daughter was in elementary & middle school, I always shopped early as they would send the list home at the end of the year. This was always helpful when trying to stretch an already tight budget. If you know your local stores history of sales, you can usually do pretty well on the basic supplies. Once they reach high school, it's a whole different matter. They don't send the list home until the first week of school. I know it's because some students may have to change their schedules after school starts, but what about the parents that have to pay for the supplies? We miss out on all the good sales unless you buy what you consider "the basics" like pens, spirals, notebook paper, binders and folders. Everything else depends on what class they're taking. Basic calculators don't cut it either, lol. Now they have to have the $100+ kind. ~:O
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
4 Jun 07
I am beyond well prepared for the $100+ calculator. When I was in HS my parents bought the $80 calculator, then I had to buy a second one - that I bought myself - for college that was closer to $150 (which I lost in a move :o( ) My husband - who took honors classes in high school - had to get one that cost almost $200 for high school. Where I went to high school there were only 2 classes you were allowed to swap out so they sent a list home in the summer, but it always seemed like some of the teacher wanted specialty items that you didn't find out about until the first day of classes/.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jun 07
Sounds like you're ready to relax then, lol. ;)
@stephcjh (32328)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I don't think you are crazy for doing it at all. I think it is very smart of you to beat the mad rush. I would do the same thing if my daughter got a list of supplies she needed for school also. I think it is great also that you can go ahead and get it all over with and get everything they need and also save some cash. I used to shop early for my daughter too when they sent a list home.
@maryannemax (12173)
• Sweden
3 Jun 07
it's one right thing to do. buy the school supplies on the list early and after that, no more thinking needed. no too much people to do the shopping against. you just need to relax after and wait for school to start.
1 person likes this
@stephcjh (32328)
• United States
4 Jun 07
I agree. I wish my daughter still got a school supply list before school started. She is in high school now and they do not send a list home. I just buy the necessities before school starts like paper, pencils, folders, and backpack.
@jennybianca (12915)
• Australia
4 Jun 07
This is a good idea. I do the same for my daughters high school stationary supplies. I almost never order amnything off the official school order form now. I wait until Kmart have their school sales, but buy what is needed on good specials. Plus, this year, she saved a lot of her folders, etc & she just reuses them. It saves a lot of money.
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
4 Jun 07
I did save a few items from my son this year which may have saved me $5, but better than nothing. I did find one item that is hard to find here - cloth book cover - on ebay for $3 w/shipping. Now just on to those yellow and red clasp folders.
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
3 Jun 07
My gosh, no, you are not crazy. It is a good idea for so many reasons. Besides all the money you will save, you really don't wan't to have to deal with how crazy it can get trying to fight the crowds. Just remember to save a few things until the week or so before school to let your son go and pick out by himself and help him start getting excited for school to start. I hope you are an organized person. My mom used to buy things ahead of time for us because there were four of us and it was easier for her that way. But then she would put stuff away and forget where she put it. Very frustating (for her, we always thought it was funny.)
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
4 Jun 07
The only thing he gets to pick out every year is his backpack & lunch kit (I usually get a set from Disney.com because they have good deals). The school he goes to is fairly picky so they really don't have room for much personalization.