LIVE! with Regis and Kelly are expecting Anderson Cooper to stop by (filling in for Regis.. didn’t Kelly just say she would marry Anderson Cooper if given the chance, a few days ago? Hmm..) this Friday morning. Anderson is covering the current flux in education funding and wants us to help him get advice, secrets, tips to families that need it most!! In anticipation of his arrival we need all you thrifty Mom’s, Dad’s Grandmas and Grandpas to put your heads together for Elementary School children across America!
What are some of the ways you maintain your budget and still send your little ones fully equippedfor school!? What are some training strategies, and lessons you’ve instilled about respect, honesty and safety?
With having a 10 year old son, I have 5 years of elementary school supply buying skills and tips under my belt and I am well aware that the changing economy and rising jobless rates are impacting every part of parents lives from simple grocery buying to health care and one necessity parents of upcoming Kindergartner’s have to think about is school supplies. School supplies do not only include paper, pencils, crayons, and folders, but parents also have to consider travel expenses, field trip fee’s, clothes, shoes, backpacks, and yes, hair cuts. All of these add up and all of these are necessary to help your child enjoy and appreciate their education.
What to consider when shopping for your Kindergartner’s school supplies and getting him ready for his first year of elementary school:
- Buy notebook paper, crayons, and pencils in bulk when you are able to.
- Character school supplies, clothing, and backpacks are more expensive than solid color clothing and backpacks and can cause conflict between students (you know.. some kids don’t like Batman while others love him!).
- Talk to your child about why it’s important both socially and environmentally, for him to ride on the bus.
- Ask your child who he would most like to carpool with so you can schedule carpool days with other parents to save on gas money.
Here are a few tips that I follow when getting my elementary age son ready for a new school year each year:
- Buy one pack of paper, one pack of pencils, one notebook, and/or one pack of crayons, every week or two during summer vacation. Doing this will ensure that parents who are on a budget aren’t slammed with one big school supply bill right before the new school year begins.
- I buy folders, pencils, erasers, and paper in bulk whenever I can.
- Local consignment sales are often held just before school starts are a great place for buying lightly used backpack, school clothes, and shoes.
- Remind your child how important it is for him to keep his hands clean while at school because not washing hands is a huge factor in spreading illnesses at school and when kids get sick, parents have to spend MONEY to go to the doctor! Let’s teach our kids to was their hands so our individual health care costs go down!
Store Freebies and Coupons for school supplies
- Live in a neighborhood with lots of kids? Chances are kids moving up to middle school have left over school supplies such as pencils, notebooks, and other things they didn’t use last year and can’t use in middle school that they would be happy to hand down to your child.
- Check drug stores and office supply stores for penny sales and free-after-rebate items in July.
- The Internet is a moms best friend! Visit coupon websites to find coupons for big brands like Bic, Post-It, and more.
- Almost everyone knows someone who works in an office.. ask your friends who work in an office if they can give your child some paper, notebooks, pens, markers, and highlighters.
Local Church and Government Resources that may provide free and inexpensive school supplies
- Ask your child’s school system if they have programs that give kids free school supplies.
- Parents can contact their local United Way and Salvation Army to find out if they offer free school supplies.
- Many churches collect school supply donations during the year and disperse them to families that need them before the next school year begins.
- Check with your county school system to learn about their free lunch options for qualifying students.
IT’S YOUR TURN TO SHARE YOUR TIPS!
Share your back-to-school shopping and budget tips with us and with Anderson Cooper.
Share your thrifty back-to-school shopping tips with The Mommy Insider and the world, in the comments below.