And you thought college was expensive? Try sending a 5th grader back to school. The average reported costs for back-to-school supplies varies widely, depending on the source. Forbes says it’s over $1,000, but that includes electronics and clothes. Time.com was reporting $100, so they might have been more focused on pencils, paper, and hand sanitizer.
One thing I stopped doing was blindly signing up for the pre-packaged school supply kit that my son’s school offers. At first, I thought it was the greatest invention ever. Who wants to run around for all that stuff and then hire a U-Haul truck to bring it to school? Then, I started noticing the same things were on the list every year (pencil bags, protractors, calculators) that don’t necessarily get used up the year before.
Nowadays, I pay attention to what the kids bring home in their end-of-year desk cleanouts. Most of the notebooks can have a third of the pages ripped out and be used again next year. My older son brought home 2 entire packages of pens that hadn’t even been opened. My younger son’s supply list for 4th grade required FIVE composition notebooks. I’ll bet 10 pages were used in all 5, so those will be used again next year.
As for clothes, I am lucky to have boys. Sure, they grow like crazy, but they don’t have to have a new look to start the next grade. Although, my 12-year-old’s shoe habit could get totally out of hand if I let it.