Friday, July 22, 2011

Buyer be ware in the back to school aisle....

So it's about 9,000 degrees in the Northeast today, and while I love the sun, and the summer. I certainly laying low today and hanging out indoors. It's been like this most of the I decided to swing by my (not so) local Target to check out the dollar spot and (please forgive me for saying it) the back to school section. Summary of these events...

What in the good Lord's name was I thinking.... The panic set it!

I happen to be reading Abby's blog The Inspired Apple today, about her trip to Target. This is one of her pictures from her blog-
The Roseart crayons for .99 cents...already gone! I start to panic. What am I missing out on???

Composition journals for $1.00... A DOLLAR! I must need these and that's when I catch myself.

I'm a list maker. I made a list at the end of the year of the things, and ONLY the things I will buy for my classroom this year. I also took a last look at our POs to see what we did order supply wise.

I realized this after the amount of money I spent last year on school supplies and the amount of "stuff" a.k.a JUNK I had hidden on the shelves in my classroom.

So did I need those spiffy new dollar composition books? No. Did I want to buy them? Yes. A situation could arise where I may need them! Putting my supply anxiety aside, I revert to my list and try to stick to it. Also our PTO gives us some money to help offset our supplies every September. I try really hard to use this money to the best of my ability and not dip into my money when buying school supplies (ha ha ha ha flash to my making 20 tie dye shirt, all of the supplies I bought for my class this past year....)

We ordered 3 different types of journals this year. I think I'll be all set. Crayons, I still have a box of 500 crayons from 6 years ago, that I have as a back up. Furthermore I still have some of the crayons from last years class that I have yet to take care of. Our students do bring in some supplies and generally I ask for crayons, so I know I'll be all set. The panic subsides.

I should note that my list does change as the summer goes on but I try to substitute when needed, not add to.

So the moral of this story is:
1.) Go with a plan.
2.) Know what you already have.
3.) Know what you need, and buy ONLY what you need.
4.) Substitute on your list, try not to add on to it.
5.) Just because it's a bargain, doesn't mean it's a real bargain especially if your not going to use it!

My TTB (things to buy) school list looked like this at the end of June:
* new Carlson-Dellosa job pockets and cards
* laminated sticks, for choosing students etc.
* fabric to cover 2 paper bulletin boards
* Steps to literacy Desk Plates ( I loved these and so did the kids)
*Rainbow color Expo dry erase markers for (my) whiteboard

My TTB school list now looks like this
* 1 bag wood rectangles from Woodworks Ltd.
(I'm going to make permanent job magnets instead of spending $10.00 a yr on cardboard that I end up sending home with the kids. See the tutorial at Matsutake blog for printing with an inkjet printer on wood blocks)
* 20 magnets to put student names in (purchased at Joann fabrics $1.00 each with a 20% coupon last weekend. These are to go with the job magnets.) (More to come on items 1 & 2 once I get in my classroom)
*Dog wooden craft sticks (to go with my Up theme)
*fabric to cover bulletin boards (purchased at Joann fabrics this past weekend with a 20% off coupon)
*Rainbow color Expo dry erase markers for classroom whiteboard

*3m laminator
*Up banner for outside bulletin board
*New clip art package from DJ inkers for bulletin board

While I am spending more on the wood blocks etc. they are something I will use over and over again. So the one time purchase is more than buying a cardboard job bulletin board set, but after one year of use, I will have re cooped that money. Also, by not indulging in buying those composition books helps to afford my new laminator.