Back to -- school supplies!
Think of the basic 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Reuse: a good quality backpack will last several years, reducing your time investment and your frustration while you reuse it. We sent Amigo's Jansport backpack in for repairs last summer, free of charge. It's worth the investment. Recycle your children's art projects. When you're done displaying them on your own refrigerator, send them to Grandma's refrigerator door.
Stock up. That sounds backward, but it isn't. School supplies are cheaper right now than they will be in January when your child's science folder breaks into pieces. Buy two of everything now. You'll be glad later.
Reuse. Scissors, rulers, pencil cases, binders, and more, can last for more than one year. I used hand-me-down supplies when I went through graduate school. Honestly, I never bought a folder or binder or notebook; we had plenty in the house already. It was fun using La Petite's old pencil case from middle school, decorated with sketches and doodles of rabbits, when sitting in a serious curriculum theory class. The professor probably wondered why I kept smiling.
Read the sale ads. I stocked up on supplies for my class' Writers' Workshop last week at Target. They had composition books at 2 for $1, while the office supply store down the street still priced them at $2 apiece. Tar-jay had cute notebooks, too; I went back later with La Petite. She bought color-coordinated notebooks in several sizes for her upcoming journalism classes.
Writing this post reminds me that I have work to do. I need to browse through the reading textbook for fourth grade before I relax and do any pleasure reading. Back to work; I'll be setting up my classroom soon. Stumble It!