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School Supplies: Essentials & Savings

Updated: Jul 27, 2019

If anyone loves the smell of fresh paper and cut pencil shavings in the Fall, it's me.

Growing up homeschooled, I envied my school friends with their long shopping list of supplies from the school division that their moms fulfilled every year. My Mom often went over and above what we "needed" for education at home just to make us feel special too (ie: what would a homeschooler need a backpack for? Lol).

As we embark on the upcoming academic year, I'm making my shopping list of essentials and trying to reduce waste by reusing materials or supplies again...all the while trying to make my kiddos feel special!

Here are my top 10 Essentials & Money Savers for our homeschool supply list:

1. (Essential) Markers

Okay so I know the marker drawer overflows...but have you coloured with your kids lately? Get busy and get rid of those dried out markers today! At the end I'm sure your collection will be severely lacking in reds and blacks. Try buying Crayola single-colour packs for colors you use and run out of constantly instead of buying another multi-pack. Recycle your old ones at

2. (Savings) Lined Notebooks

Know how many empty pages are still in our notebooks from last year? Actually I'm pretty sure I still have a few notebooks with space in them from when I was in high school kicking around here somewhere. Save any papers you need for your portfolio. Recycle all other used pages. Vuala! A ready - to - use clean notebook! (or 10)

3. (Essential) Craft Glue

Just like our dehydrated marker friends, those glue sticks don't last forever... nor does the runny white stuff.

4. (Savings) Math Tools

Is it just me or does everyone go through their childhood items and find 5 calculators, 3 geometry sets, and 10 rulers? If it's not broken, reuse it

5. (Essential) Paint Supplies

You may have paint and brushes unscathed from last that case, proceed with little effort...but if you're a frequent painting family like ours, your brushes are splitting and have licked up the bottom of your water colours ! You don't need a million colours of paint because you can mix your own tailored tones from even a small set of primaries.

6. (Savings) Binders

Let me introduce you to your new best friend: file folders. You don't need to squash your books over to make room for messy binders. Get rid of non-essential papers and reuse your binders (and dividers!) for this year too! To make things more exciting, try decorating an old binder or creating a custom cover to spice things up!

7. (Essentials) Filing System

As mentioned above, filing can save you space and money. Don't fill them with nonsense you won't want anymore in 6 months; fill them with meaningful papers and take time to label things in a functional way. If you already have a system in place, check your stock of file folders and make sure your labels are relevant for the upcoming school year.

8. (Savings) Pencil Case

This is a tough one for me. I love me a cute pencil case! I'll justify another case purchase by committing an old one to a makeup bag or telling myself that I could use multiple cases to sort different stationaries. Alas, my makeup bag works better for a makeup bag and my stationaries stay all together and I always have a surplus of these pencil cases around. If it's not worn out...if the zipper still works...reuse it.

9. (Essential) Pencil Crayons

I know...we can just use the ones from last year, right? Well, yes...but if your pencil crayons are many years old, you may notice that no matter how many times you sharpen them, they break. This could be a sign that they're quality is just not holding up to time and you will save yourself a TON of frustration by replacing them. **Don't mix your new ones with the old! **

10. (Savings) Erasers

I have never worn through an entire eraser. Not even doing Pre Calculus! (Lost one? Yes.) Erasers have a long life and even if it shows signs of age like hardening, etc, try cutting outside edges off to reveal a supple inside that's very usable again!

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