School Supplies Breaking the Bank? You’re Doing it Wrong.

“…She will spend an estimated $600 this year on school supplies and uniforms for her two children”.  – Kentucky Standard This quote appeared in my local newspaper and I could not help, but think that she was doing something wrong.  A typical school supply list can be found for about $30 – $40.  This means that this lady estimates that she will spend another $260 per child on direct school costs.  Even if we assume that this student has no other clothes to wear and everything needs to be purchased new $260 is still a nice sum.   Without seeking out deeply discounted sale prices I could find polo shirts for $10 each on any given day.  If she followed my advice to buy when things are on sale she could purchase them for half that amount.  Currently on Old they have boys polos for $5 each.  Even if she bought the boys 10 shirts each she would only pay $50 per boy.  Uniform Khakis and Navy Blue pants are both $10 right now, so assuming 5 pair of those she would only spend $50 on pants.  I am sure the boys already have shoes, but shoes can be easily found for $40 or casual canvas shoes for $10 (I bought a pair of each yesterday running shoes $40 and canvas shoes $6).  Let’s do our math.

School Supply List         $80

Shirts                            $100

Pants                            $100

Shoes                             $80

I estimate that she could spend $360 a year on these items, buying extra loose leaf paper, pencils, pens and notebooks now and she would still pay less than $400.  I feel that my estimate goes far beyond necessity.  Each boy will not need 10 shirts or 5 pair of pants for one school year, but I still allowed for this amount.  Also she overpaid on the typical school list by about $10 per student.  The point to remember is that there are almost always savings to be had if you are vigilant and aware.  You know all year long that your child will be starting a new school year in the fall.  Buy things throughout the year when they are on sale.