My last blog was about organising end of year school chaos. This one is to help you get back to school with a few dollars left in your purse!
I now have 3 kids at school to organise – plus myself! Being a teacher, I'm also 'going back to school'! So here are my top time and money saving tips.
In my last post, we spoke about getting some of those slip on book covers. They save money over the long run and a stack of time fighting with contact. To this day, I have not perfected contact covering (sigh!).
These are some of the covers I'm reusing from my son's books from last year.
Or maybe you have a crafty kind of kid, like my oldest daughter. She likes to cover her own books – yay for me! We use left over wrapping paper, which saves a stack of money! I bought up big on the red and white candy stripe paper for Christmas this year. Once you've covered the books in wrapping paper, slip on one of the see through plastic covers – these can be found at most newsagents and are super cheap.
So, crafty kid keeps busy in the holidays and Mum can put her feet up – NOT!
Here are some of the books we covered in wrapping paper from last year.
For a quick way to label pencils, give up the scraping of the ends with a sharp knife (or was that just what my mum used to do!) or fiddling with uber tiny name labels. Buy a small pointed permanent texta next time you shop at the supermarket. Even a 'laundry marker' will do the trick! Put your child's name at the end of each pencil with this. I promise – it stays put the whole year!
I invested a few years ago in a label maker. Again, you can pick them up for a reasonable price from the supermarket. My kids have a blast printing out their own labels each year. We label just about anything and everything! The recorder (ew, I can hear the squeaky, supposedly musical sounds in my head right now!), calculators, dictionaries, books, lunch boxes etc… etc… One little hint, I often put sticky tape over the top of these labels. It helps them to stay put!
As an alternative to using a label maker for books, there are plenty of free templates on the internet you can print off. Most of these will have space for your child's name, subject and year level. Once you've printed them, just glue them on to their books and pop a square of contact over the top if you want to stop the edges from curling.
Any spare lead pencils, glues, rubbers, rulers and books, put in one of those A4 snaplock bags. Label it with your child's name on the front and hand it to their new teacher. This helps to stop other children from dipping into your child's things, which you have paid for and carefully labelled! Also, you'll find any spare stuff will be easily handed back to you at the end of the year for reuse the following year. Hip hip hooray for anything that helps us save $$.
Have a look at my son's pencil case, ready to make it's way into the new school year! Can you tell the pencils and textas are recycled from last year? Nope! Told you – just a little sharpen and they look like new. I tested all the textas and only one or 2 had run out. The rest – perfect!
Finally, let me offer you a great hint on how to help your child be responsible with their brand new items, including drink bottles, lunch boxes, their uniform and especially hats!!
Our rule is that I buy everything for them- ONCE!! If they lose anything during the year, it is their responsibility to replace it. Needless to say, in the 7 years that I have had 3 children at school, we have only had 2 lost hats. Dipping in to their piggy banks to replace them became a much better lesson than me ranting and raving at them! Or, if you don't give your child pocket money, make them do jobs until they would have earned the equivalent of replacing the lost item.
Meanwhile, there's still almost a month before school goes back.
X x Renee
Renee is an experienced educator who specialises in literacy for young children. She grew up in a single parent home and is a regular speaker to community groups around Australia on this subject. She now has three children of her own.You can read The Organised Mummy's full profile here
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