It’s that time of year again – Back To School.
Schools are starting up and, viagra 40mg as usual, many fliers are coming to my house with the latest sales on school supplies, books, and super-cute classroom ideas. It’s like the big stores are reading my mind! Once upon a time I was the girl who could not wait for all the public schooled children to get settled in their classes so I could go right out and pick up the leftovers that ranged from nickel packages of pencils to a few dollars on science supplies. I knew after the third year I had a major problem.
Yes, it took three years to realize how much I’d overspent on ‘sales’. After three years I had filled a 10×10 room with everything from an over-abundance of art goodies, Montessori materials, and office supplies. I have given boxes away that didn’t make a dent in my inventory.
That’s not all.
When purchasing our home I was giddy because the basement came with an entire 20 ft. wall that went ceiling-high of bookshelves. It is full. No kidding, completely full. The ‘sales’ swept me away in that area, too.
Currently I am tasked with purging an immense amount of materials of all kinds in order to reclaim such precious room in my house and by default am having to face that shopping those ‘sales’ have probably cost me thousands of dollars that were absolutely unnecessary.
It’s overwhelming to say the very least. And I’ve heard I’m not the only one. It has been a hard personal lesson and now I’m going to give you some tips on how to avoid this problem.
How To Stop Overspending On School Supplies
1. Use the library. It takes about 5 minutes total to phone the library to see if they have a desired book in their inventory. Better yet, get out of the house and go to the library. We have a rule loosely based on one of Susan Wise-Bauer’s concept of items to choose when going. The kids can choose two books for enjoyment, and must select one science book, one history/biographical book, and one hobby book(i.e. art, music, cooking, etc.).
2. Collect only the supplies you need. How does one determine how much? Go through your lessons and type/write a school supply list that will cover the assignments. Most lesson guides have those items listed within the books. When thinking of potential projects I stick with the very basics:
- 1 box of crayons per child—use the ones from last year if you still have them! Remember, even if they are twenty-five cents a box it adds up!
- 1 watercolor set per child
- 1 bottle of glue
- 1 glue stick
- Graph paper. This is an absolute must in my home because it is perfect for lining up math problems and keeping those columns in place.
- Pencils. They do not need pens and pens are more expensive anyway.
- A few folders for organization but these can be recycled for new projects each year.
3. Use up your supply surplus!
- Say yes more than you say no. My daughter LOVES creating artwork. She loves the freedom that comes from searching Mom’s craft room and being able to let her imagination go wild. Slowly but surely my supplies are dwindling…and that’s a good thing!
- Give some to your friends, your church, your co-op, or a local daycare. The money has been spent and if it has lived in your house for more than one year there’s an excellent chance it will never be used.
4. Buried in books? Call the local children’s hospital and see about making a donation. Give some books to your friends, your church, your co-op, or a local daycare. (Gee, that sounds familiar.)
5. Make that money back! Use Craig’s List, a garage sale, or a local homeschool group to try and sell those items you do not need! Ebay and half.com are excellent tools for selling books. I know this because I’ve done it!
Trust me, once you start taking control of your inventory you will be amazed at how much nicer it feels to have the extra space to actually school the kids and not be overwhelmed with the ever-growing, never-using, tower of wasted materials.
Have you been an over-shopper?