In most areas of the US, school will be over soon. The last thing on everyone's mind right now is the next school year. But this is a relatively painless tip that doesn't take much time and will surely save you money.
When the kids come home on the last day of school, don't just put the backpacks in the closet. Go ahead and empty them out; tossing out the short pencils, used workbooks, etc. If there are usable art or other school supplies, put them in a safe place for next year. At my son's school, he had to purchase his own art class supplies and I reused the same paint colors and magic markers because of their light use. If you have a supply list for next year, put that in a safe place as well so you will have it when the back to school sales start.
Finally, inspect the backpacks. Can they be used again another year? I'm not sure where the practice of a new backpack every year started but if you start out with a sturdy one they can be used for many years. Toss it in the washer and give it a good cleaning. When dry, hang it back up and it will be ready and waiting for you at the end of summer.
By wendiesioux from Edwardsport, IN
Good ideas! :-) Please recycle instead of throwing non needed items in the trash can though :-)
Recycling is a great idea, I just don't have it available in my rural area.
Great idea. My son used the same bookbag all 4 years of high scool. and it is still in good shape. It was a Jansport bag.
Excellent thrifty thinking. Planning ahead was usually difficult for us because my kids usually didn't get supply lists at the end of the school year. More schools should do that and save local stores from the crowds wandering the aisles searching for supplies the first week of school.
Hi Wendiesioux :-)
Recycling also includes giving items you think not usable to Retirement Homes, Special Needs facilities, etc for crafting projects and so on. One person's junk is another person's treasure ;-)
I agree, I buy a sturdy backpack to begin with. Sometimes it may be $30 give or take. By buying this I am usually good for 3 to 4 years. I too save any lightly used supplies and set those aside. I also buy supplies ahead of time when they are at great sale prices and set them aside. I have found that I always need to buy extra pocket folders and paper. Our church sends school supplies to poverty areas so I pick up extras for this purpose as well. Last year my older son needed a very pricey calculator ($130) I asked around to other students that had graduated and found one that no one needed any longer.
I am going to do this, put the bag in a place only I know where it is and fill it, little at a time with pencils, sharpeners, folders, etc. that I know will be needed. And I am also going to have a place to put snack money, saving it up all Summer, and it will be ready for the next school year. You inspired me. Thank you!
I so agree with you about using the same backpack again! This is one of those things that is worth the initial investment. We got ours from LL Bean and they look great after year one of use. I plan for them to last through elementary school. Our LL Bean ones were nice because I could get them embroidered with my daughters' first initials (for safety I didn't get their whole names). We were lucky to also have next year's supply list come out now as school is ending. When the backpack comes home this week, we will clean it out, and start filling it back up for the fall.
I didn't know people didn't reuse backpacks. From HeadStart through college, my daughter went through three or four different backpacks. Now I use them (except the little furry koala one that she used from HeadStart through first grade).
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