Saturday, October 25, 2014
   
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Back to School: What will it cost?

(LE MARS) --  Back to school shopping, it's a necessary evil and can cost families a lot of

money.  For example, in Le Mars if you have 3 kids going to Community: one in first grade,

one in 8th and one in high school...you're looking at $105 in school supplies alone.  That's

according to the supply lists distributed, and assuming a high school student would need at

least $30 worth of notebooks, folders, pens and pencils.  At Gehlen, those same age students

would cost you about $120 in supplies.  And let's not forget about clothes, shoes and backpacks.

School fees are very different of course, where at Gehlen tuition ranges from $1,800 to

$4,200 depending on the childs grade and church affiliation.  At Le Mars Community there are

fees associated with things like band, orchestra, vocal music and art.  Music activities are

$15 for the year and art is $10 per class.

So for an active group of 3 kids who out grew last years clothes, I'm guessing the back to

school total is right around a thousand dollars. 

The following are some ideas for saving some dough before heading back to class...
-Seperate needs from wants.  Yes, a new backpack would be nice, but last year's is just fine.
-Recycle and repurpose.  Pull out last years notebooks that were barely used, cut out some cool magazine pics and make a collage on the notbook cover.  Ta-da! Good as new notebook!
-Don't buy the flashy supplies.  For example: a light up pencil sharpener is not only not needed to function, it's also a distraction for other students.
-Be aware that quality counts in the long run. A cheap pen may leak on day two, whereas a good pen could last 3 years. (If it doesn't get lost first!)

The following tips are for you to think about next year:
-Stock up on basics like paper and pencils when they're on sale throughout the year.
-Buy basics in bulk when you can.
-Work with your child to store the supplies they didn't use the previous year with your bulk buys.  That way when you go to look for stuff in August next year, you know where it all is!

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