Every year I feel like my kids' school shopping lists get longer and longer. This year, my daughter's list includes everything from dry erase markers to five reams of copy paper. My son's? He's going into fifth grade, but apparently he needs several 16 gigabyte memory sticks and, somewhat inexplicably, small, pointed-tip scissors. I shudder to think why those are required. Being on a budget, I need to get the most bang for my buck. I also like to buy extra when I can, so I found essential back to school items from Amazon for $5 or less so I can provide however and whatever I can.
The cost of sending your children even to public schools can be overwhelming for families. Between supplies, school clothes, shoes, and backpacks, it's easy to spend hundreds of dollars on each child at the beginning of the year. I live in Brooklyn, New York, and even though we're over a month out from the start of school, I've already spent over $120 per child in preparation for school. It's a huge financial burden for many, but thankfully Amazon has lots of essential school supplies priced at or below the $5 mark, making things a bit easier to swallow.
If your child is anything like mine, they will need about one gajillion of these during the school year, both at home and at school. They lose the caps, they use too much glue, they think everything is better with confetti glued to it — no matter the reason, these seem to disappear.
I have no idea how many pairs of these scissors I've bought over the years. I know I'll buy a few more pairs this year as I have no idea where they've all gone. (With the socks and the house elves, I presume. There's no other possibility.)
Do they need both sticks and liquid? Of course. You can't make those raindrop pictures with the glue sticks, nor will they work for gluing together popsicle sticks. For that, you'll need the good stuff.
I think I should just buy three or four of these packs; my daughter has a sharpening obsession. I don't know why, but she just loves a super sharp pencil, and that means she goes through them pretty fast.
This four-pack of metric/imperial rulers are semi-flexible and ready to be shoved into backpacks and used as a straight edge for making fortune tellers and paper airplanes. They're brightly colored and see through, making lining things up a breeze.
36 dual ended colored pencils with a sharpener for under $4? That's a pretty sweet deal. Imagine all the coloring books your kid could go through with these — the options are nearly endless. My little is going to love these.
The NYC Department of Education asks for plastic folders specifically. Unfortunately, they're pricey, and while you can sometimes find them at a discount, it's not often. These are almost $3/folder, but I will tell you that they do last more than one year, and stickers do stick to them, so your kids can decorate.
I know what you're thinking. "$4 for paper?" It sounds high, but look how much you get. It's $4 for 200 pages, not the 50 pages normally sold at the office supply store. You're getting a lot more paper for the price.
These are finely tipped, so your kids won't go highlighter bananas, highlighting everything everywhere, and they also have a nice nib and feel good in your hands. At around $4 for six, they're a major steal.