Back To School Spending

The kids start back to school next week around here and that means buying ‘stuff’.  Some it makes sense like new shoes since my oldest is entering Kindergarten this fall and he out grew his last pair.  I would like to take the credit for keeping our over all school related bill low, but that actually was my wife.

First off she did not buy any new clothes for the start of school, instead she knows our son tends to our grow this clothes by about October.  So when on vacation she picked up some pants and shirts in the next size up on clearance.  So that was taken care of over a month ago.  The added advantage here is this is my son’s first time at this school so having ‘new’ clothes is rather pointless as he has no friends there to impress.

Then when the school supply list arrived she went shopping for the few items we didn’t have around the house such as:

Shoes – $18.92 (splurge item to get the Transformer pair)
Plastic school box for markers, etc -$2.26
Two Sets of Markers – $5.00
Large Scrapbook – $3.29
School Fees – $13 classroom, $4.50 agenda, $4.50 bus fees for class trips

Total $51.47

So after the splurge item of ‘cool shoes’ the next biggest cost item on the list was school fees.  Overall I’m not complaining about the agenda since I know that is done at cost.  I’m even ok with fee for class trips but I don’t understand what is included in the classroom fees.  So my wife sent a note to the teacher asking so what is up with that, but I haven’t heard what the answer is yet.

Since we are new to this ‘back to school’ shopping I’m not sure how that total ranks compared to other people or what ideas people have on saving money on back to school shopping.  So all you experienced parents out there, how much did you spend this year and do you keep you ‘back to school’ shopping bill down?

7 thoughts on “Back To School Spending”

  1. ah…enjoy the low-cost while they’re young! I think you did extremely well.

    “School fees” alone for my high-schooler top $50. (and we won’t discuss the cost of the runners!) Fees for athletic teams adds hundreds over the course of the year.

    Best tip for saving money year to year is to buy quality and re-use. (ie. back packs, calculators, art supplies, etc.)

  2. Dabcan,

    Trust me I was wondering if that was more about a message book rather than an agenda. I will have to wait and see. On related news apparently the fees are under review so I don’t have to pay any of them yet. Ya!


    I’ve hear that high school fees can be a lot depending on what courses they take.

    Good tip. I’ll have to keep that in mind when we pick up a new backpack. The current one is 2 years old and just starting to have some issues.


  3. My oldest son is starting kindergarten this year as well. His supply list was longer than yours but we did not have a classroom fee to pay or an agenda to buy.

    1 pk washable markers
    1 pk crayons
    5 lrg glue sticks
    1 washable white glue
    1 30cm ruler
    2 pair of scissors
    1 pencil case
    2 duotangs
    1 activity book
    1 large notebook
    1 white eraser
    1 6 pk Tre Conderoga pencils (triangle shaped for proper grip)
    1 pencil sharpener
    1 pair indoor shoes

    Your kindergarten teacher must pool the money and buy supplies herself for the kids.

    We also got Transformer shoes for his indoor shoes lol. Did you get the yellow Bumblebee ones?

    I wanted to buy him a left handed notebook and scissors but could not find any at Staples or Wal Mart. I found a web site out of San Fransisco but it would have cost almost $50 for those 3 items.

  4. It’s been 25 years since I was in kindergarten, but I’m quite certain we didn’t need to have any of this stuff, it was supplied by the school which bought it with revenue from taxes. I’m curious to know if taxes haven’t kept up with the cost of school or if money is now being spent elsewhere.

    My brother’s kid (starting kindergarten this week) had to have “pre-cut tennis balls” from staples to put on the feet of his chair so they wouldn’t scrape the floor…. Now that’s ridiculous.

  5. @ Randalynn,

    Yes, your list is way longer than ours. By the way, yes we also bought the yellow Bumblebee ones. Too funny.


    From my understand no taxes haven’t kept up with expenses. You got a pile of teachers at their top pay ranges within a year or two of retirement and one hell of an expensive pension plan to pay. So every other area got squeezed out. Oh, ya, you also have scope creep where schools are providing services that should be other departments like Health or Social Services. As you can tell I could rant on this for a while so I will stop now.

    I didn’t know they sold pre-cut tennis balls, but I know what they are used for. It’s to do with some kids being ‘really sensitive’ to noise so by putting on the balls you can cut that noise back hugely. I don’t agree with that being a student item. That should be a school expense.


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