Around this time of year, schools start taking orders for the school supplies pack for the following school year.  So is it easier to just check off a box and send in your credit card information, or should you go for the savings and take your list and go shopping on your own… much closer to September?

I never realized how much all those pencils and protractors added up to – and how hard they can be to find!  The school supply packs are wildly convenient.  Takes just a moment to click a box online and then in September you get your school supplies without any effort.

However – convenience comes at a price and that price is high (especially when you’ve got 3 in the game). I have tried a few times to purchase on my own, but taking my kids to any store always turns into an argument over some item they desperately need and swear they’ll pay me back if I just buy them this one pencil sharpener in the shape of an ice cream cone please please please I never ask for anything – and there’s no shortage of things to want, because every store now has gum, candy, and pencil sharpeners shaped like gum and candy.

Then you have to be there on the right day and time – like in July before everyone else gets the idea, I suppose.  We struggled for a red three-pronged duotang (and no, a two-pronged report cover WON’T DO).

My informal survey shows about 80% say “buy it”, but that for older ages (Grade 3+) they may bring home enough of the supplies (think scissors and pencil case) that you can get away with just supplementing last year’s supplies.  Some say you can buy things on sale throughout the year and put them aside.

Call me lazy or crazy, but on June forty-seventh when they drag home eleventy boxes of crafts and art project and a pencil box with 6 red pencil crayons home, I’m in full purge mode so literally nothing is going to make it back to school fresh and ready for September.  As far as putting things aside… there isn’t a shelf, closet or other place to put anything aside in my suburban paradise.

Once again the key to saving money and being prepared comes down to being organized and planning ahead.  So once again I get my credit card out so that someone can do it for me.