It’s that time of year again! Soon, school bells will ring and doors will open for another year in the classroom. For many parents, the routine of purchasing school supplies year after year can be tiring, and many times, very costly. With that in mind, here are a few items worth investing in (and fixing!) so that your student can get a few more ‘miles’ out of them.

  1. Backpack

Are you purchasing a new backpack for your student every school year? Don’t! Backpacks are among the most necessary of school supplies but certainly won’t help the student in the classroom just because they have the latest model. If the backpack has a hole or needs a new touch, patch if up with fabric scraps or use craft accessories to add a new style.

  1. Notebooks

Year after year, students will come home for the summer with half-used notebooks and, unfortunately, drop them in the trash. Instead of purchasing an entirely new notebook, tear out pages that haven’t been used and place the paper in a three-ring binder. This eco-friendly tip can be repeated annually and the savings will add up. Don’t forget to recycle the papers that can’t be reused.

  1. Pens, pencils, highlighters and crayons

How many times have you purchased a pack of pencils only with the thought that you have endless amounts in a junk drawer at home? Like notebooks, writing utensils are often stashed into backpacks at the end of the year and then placed around the house (or sadly, in the trash). Many of these can be reused! Make a game out of how many writing utensils your child can find around the house and keep tallies year by year.

  1. Lunchboxes and lunchbags

You can plan to reuse lunchboxes and bags from one year to the next regardless of budget. Therefore, always choose a lunchbag that’s durable. Be sure to clean out your student’s lunchbag regularly and empty out any old trash. Most will withstand hand washing, mild soap, cool water, and air drying. Prop it open so that air circulates over all the different surfaces and allow plenty of time to air dry before another lunch is packed away.

These are just a few ways to get more use out of your student’s school supplies while helping to save a few dollars. Read more about helpful tips for parents in our other Energizing Youth blogs.