If you’ve been in the store lately, you’ve likely already noticed the aisles packed full of school supplies.
Those sales are just for kids who go to school, right? Wrong! Homeschoolers can save a bundle by taking advantage of the back-to-school sales, too.
I mean, you do write with pencils and paper in your homeschool, right? Ha. All joking aside, this really is a great time of year to buy some basics and invest in things that will make your homeschooling year a breeze.
I have two simple tips.
#1 Take advantage of sales on electronics, printers, and other items that aren’t typically seen as “classroom supplies.” These items are almost always on sale and/or tax free.
Yep, 3 years and 4 kids later, I found a pencil sharpener that doesn’t eat pencils, won’t break after 5 uses, and is super affordable.
Not a necessity, but this Scotch laminator is the perfect complement to a homeschool. It’s generally half off around back-to-school time, too!
A few other things you might consider are technology needs like an ipad or computer. Apple participates in the tax free weekends AND they offer an educator’s discount which is available to homeschool families. Also, don’t forget shoes, clothes, backpacks, and water bottles that you might use for co-ops or sports. And hit up the college dorm aisles for inexpensive storage solutions for your school room.
#2 The second trick is to buy as much as you might need for the whole year.
Don’t be skimpy, because that $.50 box of crayons will cost you $2.34 if you run out in December. I could think of a lot of ways I’d rather spend that money and I know you can too. Since I don’t want to be caught without, I tend to overestimate new items. I’ve pretty much got it down to a science! There is rarely any waste because we can always use any extras the next year.
My annual shopping list usually looks like this:
Ticonderoga pencils– yes I am a brand snob on this one. Once I switched to these pencils and stopped buying the cheap versions, I always found that at the end of the year we STILL had pencils. They weren’t all broken or missing erasers anymore. I promise, you won’t go back to other brands. I buy 8 or so boxes of 30 to cover all 4 kids.
Glue sticks– (generally 5 per elementary student, 20-30 for a kindergartner or preschooler)
Scissors– I buy 2 pairs of the appropriate size for each kid every year. Since they are so cheap at this time, I don’t fret if they get lost, rusted, or damaged throughout the school year. Takes a lot of unnecessary pressure off for me.
Bottles of glue– we buy about 5 per year for the whole family
Binders– I buy 1.5 inch binders for each child. You can see more about how I use these here.
Computer paper– we can easily go through 10 packs of this a year. I find that it goes on sale at Wal-mart often enough that I don’t need to buy that many at a time.
Wooden rulers– 1 per student. I buy wooden only because the plastic ones usually don’t have all of the measurements on them.
Big pink erasers– 3 or 4 per student. Don’t waste your time on pencil erasers. Go big. This way you can save pencils even when the eraser runs out and you can erase with less likelihood of ruining the page.
Crayons– 5 boxes per elementary student, 10 boxes for kindergartner or preschooler. You want to buy enough of these during the sales. They are significantly cheaper. And you can always save what you don’t use for next year. That hasn’t even been a problem though.
Colored pencils– 4-5 packs per student or 1-2 mega packs. I really prefer that my kids use these over crayons and markers when they are notebooking. The pencils are much neater and don’t bleed.
Sharpie markers and highlighters- The truth is, these are kinda for me, but this is the time that they are super cheap and does anyone ever have enough?
Composition notebooks- we use 2 of these per year, per student. When in doubt, buy more. They are so cheap now and so expensive later. We use these for devotions in the morning, as well as math practice.
Post-it notes- so they can mark their places in books and/or write me a note about their work.
Back to Homeschool Shopping List
Just to make life easy for you, I’ve put together a little printable list for you. (I can’t help but think of that Staples “easy button” commercial. Haha) We have combined all of our most popular homeschool freebies into one amazing collection. You’ll get this one, plus 75 more! Simply click the image below to learn more.
What would you add to the list? Leave a comment and let us know!