Whether you’ve done your school shopping yet or not, each of us tasked with the back-to-school supply list knows that it has gotten longer each year with an extra high total at the bottom of the exceptionally long receipt. When I was a kid my dad scoffed at our comparatively short lists saying “You were a weirdo if you had a backpack, all you need is a notebook and a pencil”. With significant school funding cuts, teachers are forced to pay for classroom supplies out of pocket as well as request things like tissue, wet wipes, and a lot of extra pencils to compensate for what the school no longer provides.
So, what can you do about the sometimes $200 subtotal?
If you have older kids, ask them what supplies work for them and do without the rest.
If you have little ones and can’t afford such a steep number for just one kid, not to mention clothes and shoes, speak with the teacher before school starts. Chances are they’ll be understanding and give you a modified list. Additionally, look up donation programs in town to see if you’re eligible.
If you can afford the price tag, consider buying everything on the list. Multiple packs of pencils benefits the whole classroom and will be greatly appreciated.