Best Ten Back to School Supplies
Preparing for your children to go back to school? While part of me is excited about back to school, I am also nervous about how much it’s going to cost my family. With two children in school, we are expecting to spend quite a bit of money this year. Even worse, many of the supply lists are getting more complicated, requiring us to have something that can read ebooks and be able to play kids games. Luckily, we had been planning for this already. Knowing that other family’s struggle with back to school time, we created this list of our Top 10 Back to School Supplies that we think are perfect for just about any family!
Back to School: Backpack
If you ask my daughter’s what is their favorite part of back to school, it’s looking for a new backpack. We usually buy a new backpack every year since by the end of the year, their old backpack is usually worn out. I love finding cute and unique backpacks that no one else in the class has, allowing my girls to easily find their backpacks. This year, we ended up buying a matching owl backpack and lunch box for my youngest daughter. She loves owls, making the Skip Hop Zoo Pack Little Kid Backpack perfect for her. Not only was her backpack different, but cheaper than any of the cute backpacks I found at our local stores!
Back to School: Lunchbox
Like every parent, I spend quite a bit of time looking for the perfect lunch boxes for my kids. While I prefer eco-friendly lunchboxes, this is one of the areas where I splurge on my kids. I usually like to find fun lunchboxes that show off my children’s personalities. For example, this year I purchased the Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie insulated Lunch Box for my daughter. She LOVES this owl lunchbox. Since my daughters are picky, I usually go to Amazon to look for lunchboxes, allowing me to find something fun and inexpensive.
Back to School: Lunch Containers
Even though many of us don’t think about it, the food that goes in our children’s lunch boxes is just as important. I am a big fan of anything that allows me to conserve space and pack healthy lunches for my kids. I especially love stainless steel items, such as ECOLunchbox. These stainless steel bento boxes are the right size for a sandwich in the bottom, fruit, and snacks, making it the perfect choice for children and adults alike. Since they are stainless steel, they are also dishwasher safe, allowing you to keep using the same containers over and over without the use of baggies or plastic wrap.
Back to School: Eco-friendly School Supplies
This may just be me, but I hate buying traditional school supplies. In my opinion, you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to crayons, paints, and markers. Rather than go for toxic, cheap options, I buy eco-friendly school supplies for my children. While these supplies may be a bit more expensive, they are better for environment and usually last longer. I especially love beeswax crayons. These natural crayons very easy to work with and usually use natural colors as well. For my kindergartener, I also purchased eco-friendly, non toxic finger paints that she absolutely loves!
Back to School: Calculator
Even though it may seem silly now, more kids are being required to purchase high end calculators. My oldest daughter is taking an advanced math class, requiring her to have a high end calculator. The recommended calculator by her teacher is the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator. I was amazed just how much these calculators have changed, and even more scared at the price – $139. Yikes! Luckily, Amazon had it cheaper than our local stores, allowing us to purchased it for about $100. Luckily, she will be able to use this calculator throughout middle school and high school, making me feel more confident that this calculator is an investment in my child’s educations. With back to school supply lists being even more expensive, I am happy to save any money I can!
Back to School: Clothes
I was just how many cute outfits I found online this year. Major brands likePuma are now putting clothes for kids on Amazon, allowing you to buy full sets for children cheaply. During back to school shopping, I always allow my daughters to pick out their own clothes, as long as they are appropriate. This year, my daughter found Dollie and Me clothes. For those of you who haven’t heard of these sets, they are adorable outfits that include a matching outfit for your favorite doll. Who knew that Amazon had such cute clothes during the back to school season!
Back to School: Laptop
While I hate to admit it, elementary school has changed quite a bit since I was a child. Kids are using more computer programs than ever. I was surprised that some of my daughter’s textbooks even have learning activities online. It was even recommended on my daughters back to school supply list that kids have access to a computer. Even though I was nervous to do it, this was the first year we purchased a laptop for my daughter. It was a basic laptop, but able to play most of the learning games and online activities that were recommended by her teacher. We ended up going with the Toshiba Satellite, which was about $370. While it was a bit costly, it was able to do everything my daughter needed and had the proper safety features to make us confident that she would be safe while doing school work.
Back to School: Kindle Fire
Over the past year, I have been amazed just how many libraries are offering children’s books in the Kindle format. Now many of the classes can be ‘borrowed’ or purchased cheaply for the Kindle. In many cases, it is much cheaper than buying the physical copies of the books. This year, my daughters have a reading log where we have to record how many books the girl’s have read. Since many of the books on their recommended list of the Kindle, we have decided to go this route for the girls. So far, they love reading these books on the Kindle Fire. Even better, they have the ability to look up words they don’t know in the book, making the experience more interact. In my opinion, this is a must when it comes to back to school time, especially if your children are of reading age!
Back to School: Dorm Room Decorations
Going to college is tough, not just for parents, but teenagers as well. While you may think you can bring a lot from home, most college students get there panicked. For example, most dorm rooms have odd sized, extra long twin beds. These, of course, take specialty sheets and comforters. Before you start panicking about costs, don’t worry, you can find inexpensive bed sets during back to school time. These sets usually include everything you need to turn a dull, boring dorm bed into a fashionable place to sleep. Best of all, they make these sets in just about every theme, making them perfect for guys and gals alike. Actually, one of my favorite’s is the Royal Heritage Home Twin Extra Long Door Room SUperset. This set includes just about everything you need for going off college. This includes not only sheets and comforter, but a matching towel set as well! Currently, Amazon is selling a pink zebra set for girls and a hunter green set for guys, both under $130.
Back to School: Mini-Fridge
Even though many of us don’t think about it, a mini fridge is a must when it comes to living in a dorm room. While you rarely see it on most back to school lists, it is recommended for most college students. When it comes to looking for a mini fridge, try to think about your needs. While you may want a large fridge, realize it will be going in a very small part of your room, so go for something that is deep but won’t take up too much room. While you may be tempted to buy a mini fridge now, make sure to call your college and see what size they recommend. They will be happy to tell you what size would fit in the room, and what models may not be allowed by the college itself. To get an idea of the different types of mini-fridges, feel free to check out Amazon’s selection of fridges.
Back to School: Where to Purchase
Want to know where you can find the best deals on back to school items? We personally prefer to shop at Amazon.com. Not only do they have the largest selection of items, but have everything you need at a discounted place. This means you can save more money if you have a large family! Even better, you can have everything shipped to you for free, taking the stress out of back to school shopping. To get the best deals on back to school, make sure to check Amazon.com first!