The School Supplies Every Student Needs For the Back to School Season

As any parent knows, school supplies are a key part of every fall season shopping list, and as they usually need to be bought fresh every year, it’s always a good idea to stock up and hunt for deals.

Of course, there are always essentials that will be on every back to school list, such as writing utensils, notepads and paper, and books, but are there other educational supplies you could be missing out on? Here are some tips and ideas to help you save money while ensuring your child is fully prepared for his or her first day back to school in 2010!

Money-saving back to school ideas

  • Make a (shopping) list, check it twice: This is a great way to help you keep track of your child’s school supply needs, and it also ensures you’re not buying on impulse.
  • Browse online for ideas first: The Internet has made it so much easier to scope out deals and product selections at different stores, so take advantage of it to compare prices, formulate your back to school shopping list, and make sure you’re not aimlessly wandering around the store. Online retailers like Kmart.com and TigerDirect.com already have great back to school sales for 2010.
  • Look for coupons, rebates and deals: Even online you can find awesome discounts and coupon codes to help you save money for back to school.

School supplies for every situation

Sometimes it might seem like your child’s backpack – and your home – are bursting with school supplies, and organizing everything might feel like an overwhelming task. So here we’ve come up with a couple of ideas for what’s needed for different back to school situations so you can better determine what the essentials are.

Back to school supplies

As these will make up the majority of your yearly purchases, it’s worth trying to consolidate these supplies and figuring out what you need to buy again and what can be reused from the previous year.

Try organizing your basic school supplies purchases into the following and you’ll have a better idea of how much more you need to buy:

  • Writing utensils: It’s a good idea to test your child’s pens, pencils, erasers, and highlighters and throw out any that aren’t working/broken/too small to be used. You might be surprised at how many writing utensils you already have lying around the house!
  • Art supplies: Easels, paint palettes and brushes don’t need to be bought every year, and you can revive dried-up paint tubes with a bit of paint thinner. Another neat trick? Give old crayon bits a new lease on life with something like the Crayola Crayon Maker, available from Kmart.com.
  • Notebooks & paper products: One of the few things you’ll likely need to buy every year. However, if they’re just for notes and not for assignments that need to be handed in, consider tearing pages out of old notebooks and organizing them with three-ring binders.
  • Electronics: Your child may need several USB flash drives to save work done on home or school computers, and while it’s a bit of an initial investment, a netbook is a terrific purchase to avoid stacks of paper overflowing on your student’s desk. You can get great deals on back to school electronics by shopping with a store like Tiger Direct.
  • Accessories: Things like pencil cases and backpacks may need to be purchased every year as back to school fashions change, but you can probably save on items such as staplers and rulers.
  • Math supplies: Does your child need calculators, protractors or compasses? Check to make sure you’re buying the best math supplies for your child’s needs, rather than simply buying the most expensive.

Home school supplies

Home schooling has returned to the spotlight over the past several years as parents look to be more involved in their kids’ lives, and more people are now searching online for the best home school supplies to give their children a comparable education experience right at home.

One terrific line of homeschooling products you can try is Teacher Created Resources, which is available from Buy.com and includes stickers, activity books and more, all specially created by classroom teachers. Teacher Created Resources even provides some free lesson guides and activities on its website, so check it out.

Look for a home school guide or kit as well if you’re not quite sure where to start. And it’s always a good idea to invest in a multifunction printer so you can print out and photocopy assignments, or even scan in your little one’s pictures to keep on your computer!