When thinking about back-to-school supplies, it’s usually summer that springs to mind. And while that’s the most important (and most expensive) time to refill supplies, the New Year is prime time for a refresh.
The post-festive blues might be setting in now, but kids are gearing up to get back to school. Just like we’re gearing up to get back into the office. And the new year is a great time to check if any of your kids’ school supplies need swapping out for something new.
But not all school supplies are created equal. And there are plenty of things that come in both expensive and cheap options. So what’s actually worth you spending a little bit more money on?
Here are five school supplies that are worth the splurge…as well as a list of those that aren’t
1. Get Personal
There’s nothing like having your name on your personal belongings. Even older kids will enjoy having their goodies personalized. Not only does it help if anything gets lost (something that’s inevitable in school), but it also gives kids ownership over their things.
They’re more likely to look after their stuff if they’ve got their name on it. And that’ll save you having to replace things over and over again. So it’s worth spending a little extra to give their school supplies that personal touch. Etsy is a treasure trove of personalized goodies, so you won’t have to go far to find the perfect supplies for your kids.
The festive period is a time of indulgence. But getting back to school means getting back to healthier meals. And those more nutritious meals need a safe place to live.
It’s worth investing in a lunch box that’ll stand the test of time. And will keep their handcrafted meals fresh all day long. Bento boxes are a great option because they keep food safe and are super easy to clean every day. Stainless steel ones can be jazzed up with magnets. And plastic options are perfect for sticking in the dishwasher after a long day in school.
The ongoing Covid crisis means we’ve all had to adapt and change over the last two years. Often at the drop of a hat. And even school life hasn’t escaped these changes. It’s meant investing in masks and even becoming teachers as our homes became schools.
It’s not too much of a stretch to think that homeschooling might come back into force if the crisis continues. So preparing for those events will stand you in good stead. Think headphones, laptops, iPads, and comfortable lap desks. If it turns out that kids don’t have to work from home (WFH), then all this new tech will still come in handy. Especially as learning moves online.
4. Technical Details
Technical school supplies might not be the most fun thing to buy your kids as they head back to class. However, calculators, protractors, and compasses are integral to learning. And getting cheap ones will see you replacing them often.
Spend a little extra cash on technical products that will stand the test of time. This includes big purchases like iPads and laptops, which are becoming more and more commonplace in learning.
5. A Trusty Backpack
At school, there are many things for kids to carry around. Books, lunch, toys, and tokens from friends. It’s essential to keep them safe. And a mediocre backpack isn’t going to cut the mustard. On the other hand, investing in a quality backpack will hugely bump up your child’s school supplies.
It’s tempting to let your kids take the reins and go for a wild style. Unfortunately, while encouraging this individuality is brilliant, they’re likely to go off products with a specific style as they age. So instead, get something that will see them through a few years and stand the test of time.
So, What School Supplies Are Actually A Waste Of Money?
It’s easy to get pulled in by excellent marketing and an overexcited teen when buying school supplies. But don’t be fooled. Some products aren’t worth spending loads of money on. And you’d do better to get cheaper options. Especially if they get used and replaced quicker than it’s worth.
Here are 5 things that just aren’t worth you spending the big bucks on.
1. Avoid Overpriced Sets
Creativity should be encouraged in our kids. And they’ll need the proper kit to express that creativity. But don’t get pulled in by expensive sets. You don’t need to get a big brand to find quality materials.
The best thing to do is go for a cheaper set that you don’t mind replacing. It’ll save you a tonne of money. And once your kids have found their medium, you can invest in something a little more expensive. But while they’re young, the cheaper materials will do.
2. Ditch The Glass Bottles
We all want to do our bit for the environment. So the idea of gearing our kids up with glass bottles makes sense. They’re good for the planet, can be recycled, and last longer. But for kids, they’re just not a viable option.
Even the most responsible children will accidentally drop their bag or have a friend who will shove it off their desk. That leads to dangerous breakages and a bottle that needs replacing. Glass bottles are more expensive than their plastic or steel counterparts, so you’ll run up a bill pretty quickly if your kid is clumsy.
Plastic options might not be great for the environment, but they’re sturdier, so they’re less likely to end up in landfills. And that’s better for the planet than constantly replacing a glass alternative
3. Keep Clear Of Expensive Apps
There are plenty of apps available to help kids learn. And they all come with the promise of teaching them everything they need to know quicker than the rest. But they can also come with a pretty hefty price tag. And they could do more harm than good.
Instead of trying to fit in more learning when they return from a long day, get them outside. Enjoying time with friends and family will help them more physically and mentally than doing more homework.
4. Don’t Use Whiteout
We all want to hide our mistakes. But when we’re learning, those mistakes are necessary. And letting teachers see those mistakes will help them see your kids working out. Being able to see the workings shows teachers were more, or less, support is needed. So buying whiteout not only costs you unnecessary cash, but it could also hamper the learning of your children.
5. Loose Leaf Paper Just Isn’t Worth It
There are plenty of things that are quickly becoming outdated as we move to a more digital learning environment. Packs upon packs of loose paper are one of those things. If you need paper for writing, opt for notebooks with perforated edges. Not only does it keep work more organized, but it also means it can easily be torn out when it comes time to turn it in.
It also means we’re only using the paper we need, rather than creating more waste.
It’s easy to get pulled in by marketing when buying school supplies for the year ahead. But most of the time, marketing lies to us to encourage a sale. And we can easily become susceptible to it.
Instead, focus on splashing the cash on school supplies worth the money. Products that will see the whole year through rather than one term. This list will help you separate the wheat from the chaff and focus your hard-earned cash on buying quality products. Plus, a few helpful tips on what supplies to avoid.