School Supply Challenge Check In

Six weeks ago, I asked all you moms and dads of school age kids to join me in the School Supply Challenge. The challenge part was to set a budget – an absurdly low budget – for all of this year’s school supplies. And then set out to meet that challenge by taking advantage of the bounty of back-to-school sales.

I wanted to take a moment today to check in with all of you to see how your shopping is going – and whether you think you are going to meet your goal. Since I have just over a week left until my two boys start school, I need this check in desperately!

As a reminder, here is the list I’m shopping for. I’ve crossed off the items I’ve already procured. If there is no price next to a crossed-off item, that’s because I already happened to have it on hand already (thanks to my stockpile from couponing and sales). All prices are before tax.


  • 1 Box Crayola Crayons, 24 Count
  • 1 Box Crayola Markers, Wide Line, 8 Count
  • 1 Box Crayola Markers, Thin Line, 8 Count
  • 1 Bottle Purell Hand Sanitizer with pump, 8 fl. oz $1
  • 1 Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, 10.7 oz $1
  • 1 Fiskars Scissors, child size blunt tip
  • 1 Box Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencils (non-mechanical) 12 Count
  • 1 Box Tissues, 100 Count
  • 1 Box Storage Bags, gallon size (preferably “slider” top)
  • 1 Box Storage Bags, quart size (preferably “slider” top)
  • 1 Composition Notebook, wide ruled, 70 sheets (any color) – $.49
  • 3 Mead Spiral Notebooks, SOLID color cover, one subject, wide ruled
  • 4 Elmer’s Glue Stick, .77 oz
  • 3 Pink Erasers (for art room) $.59

Grade 2

  • 2 Nylon 3-hole punch pencil holders with one clear side
  • 4 Pink Erasers$.78
  • 2 Elmer’s Glue Bottles, 4 oz. – $.58
  • 2 Elmer’s Glue Sticks, 4 oz.
  • 2 Boxes Tissue, 100 Count
  • 1 Box Crayons, 16 Count
  • 1 Box Colored Pencils, 12 Count 
  • 1 Box Markers, 12 count
  • 12 #2 Sharpened Pencils
  • Pencil Sharpener (2 hole)
  • 2 Dry Erase Chisel Markers (black only) $.02 money-maker!
  • 1 Spiral Notebook, wide rule
  • 2 Composition Notebooks, wide rule, 100 pages 
  • 1 Plastic Folder (yellow only) – $.01
  • 4 Highlighters (1 each – yellow, green, orange and blue)
  • 1 Box Storage Bags, quart-size with slider closure
  • 12” Ruler (for art room) $.19

I just totaled it up and so far, I’ve spent $4.62 (before tax).

Since I’m definitely more than halfway there, I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to meet my goal of spending no more than $15. Once again, I am reminded of how much a robust stockpile helps when it comes to cutting costs. Most items in my stockpile were just pennies, if not free altogether, so it’s definitely been cheaper for me to shop at my house, rather than the store.

How is the back-to-school shopping going for you? Please let us know what great steals you have found, and what items are challenging your couponing prowess. I can’t wait to hear how it’s going for you!


  1. Here’s a challenge: any ideas for cheap planners? They are generally pricey and at least 5 of my kids need them this year. At $8 – $15 a piece for one, that adds up quick.

    • I hear you – that is steep. I know I always balk at the price of my planner and for whatever reason, they don’t seem to get cheaper as the year goes on either. 🙁

      There’s a Mead planner on sale this week at Target for $7, plus a $1/2 coupon the newspaper that will make it $6.50. Not super cheaper, but better than $15. Find the details on the School Supply Round-Up post.

  2. Rivka H. is reporting she found large and small school planners at Walgreens for $2.99. Going to check that out.

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