Back to school scavenging: Smart or a little sad?

It’s time to once again purchase school supplies. Before we made our annual trip to the store for supply shopping, I decided to take a quick look at my daughter’s list first. This year’s list is as follows:

-2 dozen #2 pencils/sharpener/block eraser
-48 crayons
-12 colored pencils
-4 single-subject spiral notebooks
-6 pocket folders
-1 pair of scissors
-1 composition book
-1 pencil box
-1 Sharpie
-1 highlighter
-1 red pen
-1 roll of scotch tape
-1 glue stick
-1 box of Kleenex

I noticed something about the list: it looks a lot like last year’s list.  In fact, I’m pretty sure my daughter dumped an entire grocery bag full of this stuff on my kitchen table on the last day of school just a few months ago.

A look into the kids' craft cabinet was a lot like going back to school shopping. In the cabinet, I found:

-2 dozen #2 pencils
-48 slightly used, but all accounted for, crayons
-11 colored pencils (close enough)
-2 single-subject spiral notebooks (good as new when the 5 used pages are torn out!)
-2 pocket folders
-1 pair of scissors
-1 composition book (missing 5 pages, like the notebooks)
-1 already personalized pencil box

In my junk drawer, I unearthed:

-1 red pen
-1 Sharpie (still writes great!)
-1 highlighter
-1 roll of scotch tape (brand new)

That left us with needing:

-Block eraser (we had one, but it was icky) (29 cents)
-2 single-subject spiral notebooks ($1.38)
-4 pocket folders (98 cents)
-1 glue stick (79 cents)
-1 box of Kleenex (89 cents—on sale!)

Making the grand total for our back to school supply shopping: $4.33

So, did I just wow you with my frugal and environmentally friendly way of school supply “shopping” or do you feel just a little bit sorry for the little girl who is starting a new year with old supplies?


Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.