August 25, 2011

5 Things You Really Don’t Need To Buy For Back To School



Back To School image by © Roman Sigaev -

image credit: © Roman Sigaev–

I’m a sucker for all the great Back To School supplies. OK, I’m a sucker for most office supplies. And glue and glitter and construction paper too. But when it comes to school supplies is it really necessary to replenish everything? As a kid my family didn’t have a lot of money so we rarely received a backpack full of new supplies. And to tell you the truth, within a few days no one has brand new things.

So what can you forgo? Here are 5 Things You Can Skip For Back To School:

1. Crayons– sure they may be cheap, but that box of 86,531 crayons you have tucked away is the perfect place to find perfectly usable crayons. They’ll be rounded down in a few days anyway.

2. Book Covers– there is really no need to spend several dollars per cover when you have perfectly good paper grocery bags or gift bags stashed away. Consider it recycling and going retro. All the rage in the 1980s, paper bag book covers are not only earth friendly but they also give you a canvas to decorate as you see fit.

3. Pencil Bag– Most of these things are made of plastic and will tear relatively easy. If you’re going for plastic why not just grab a zip top bag or two and put pens, pencil and crayons in a roomy place? And if they tear or get damaged they’re inexpensive and easily replaceable.

4. Pens– not all kids will need pens, but many high school and college kids will. Now I’m a pen junkie and love all the colors and types. But the fact is that I have hundreds of pens from all kinds of places – restaurants, real estate folks, drugstores, etc. Most are pretty decent and if I lose it I don’t feel bad.

5. A New Wardrobe– buying a few things may be in order, but just because it’s back to school doesn’t mean you should invest in a new wardrobe. Besides the fact that there is already a room full of perfectly usable clothing, styles might change or your child my find that she doesn’t want to be caught dead in head to toe pink any more or your son isn’t feeling part of the in-crown with those polo shirts. It’s one thing to buy clothing staples when they are on sale, it’s another thing to spring for whatever is the newest must-have.

Now it’s your turn! What have you determined is more an option than a necessity? Share your thoughts and insight below for a chance to win a $500 Back to School Shopping Spree from BlogFrog!

Want to exchange more tips and ideas with other moms about back to school topics such as healthy snacks, school supplies and saving money?  Visit the Horizon® Healthily Families Back to School Community!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon. The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect the view of the Horizon Organic brand.



Kelly August 25, 2011 at 6:56 am

Oh, back to school shopping! I have two kids under the age of 10 and their supply lists grow every year. I’m amazed at how specific teachers are about the lists as well.

But the one thing I put my foot down about is the backpack! They will reuse that backpack every year until it breaks beyond repair! And lunch bags?! Same goes for them as well. But our teachers want a lunch bag and a snack bag. I’ve decided to use the bags that we’ve gotten from Subway kids’ combos. They’re reusable and of a good size. No throwing away paper bags every day.

Day 54 Back to School, Ugh

Sara August 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Kelly, thanks for visiting and chiming in. Yes, the request are very specific these days. I guess I’d prefer that than not having my child prepared for what the teacher has planned. And I don’t think the teacher should be responsible for all the extras.

But you’re right, some things just need to be recycled, upcycled and repurposed. It was good enough for me as a kid, it’s good enough now!

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