Much to my daughter's dismay, it is time to start preparing for the upcoming school year. Part of this ritual involves buying school supplies. This year, her school offered pre-packaged supply kits that were customized to her teacher's specifications. The school receives $3 for every kit purchased.
Since I'm not a huge fan of fighting 10-year-olds for the last glue stick at the big box store, I was ready to take advantage of this offer – until I noticed that the cost of one kit was $80. I was just certain I could properly supply her for school for much less. So armed with the list, I headed to the store.
School Supply List
- 3 dozen #2 pencils, sharpened
- 6 blue ballpoint pens
- 6 black ballpoint pens
- 6 red ballpoint pens
- 1 box markers, assorted colors (8 ct.)
- Assorted markers and highlighters
- 1 box colored pencils (8 ct.)
- 1 box crayons (24 ct.)
- 1 ream of white copy paper (500 ct.)
- 10 pocket folders with 3 prongs, mixed colors
- 2 packs wide-ruled lined notebook paper (200 sheets each)
- 1 6" Big Kid Scissors, Ages 8+
- 1 bottle of glue (4 oz.)
- 1 washable glue stick
- 2 packages Expo marker (4 ct.)
- 1 foaming anti-bacterial soap
- 1 box tissues
- 5 Mead composition books
- 1 zipper pencil pouch with 3 holes
- 1 pack lined index cards (3 x 5)
- Large binder (Optional)
- 1 roll paper towels
- 1 box plastic bags (either sandwich, quart or gallon size)
The result? The total cost of my daughter's school supplies was $54.97 – 31 percent less than the cost of the prepackaged kit. That's without comparison shopping or coupons.
Now, instead of the $3 that was going to be donated to the school, I can donate the $25.03 I saved by spending a little bit of time to shop for supplies myself. As a bonus, my daughter got to participate by choosing her favorite color notebooks and folders.
What do you think? Is the convenience of pre-packaged back-to-school supply kits worth the cost?
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