Back-to-school shopping: Local moms share their tips for stocking up on supplies

PLYMOUTH — ‘Tis the season for pens, notebooks, and glue—and not a small amount of stress for parents who need to provide new school supplies for their children.
“I’m not a good planner—I usually buy what I can the last couple of weeks before school starts, even if it breaks the budget,” said Hesper Manns, Knox mom of Layne, 14, and Brenna, 10.
Manns is not alone—the list of needed supplies, especially for parents of multiple children, can seem overwhelming. To combat budget worries, Plymouth mom Amy Schuler plans on buying school supplies gradually instead of all at once.
“I try to buy one or two items as soon as they start putting them out,” said Schuler. “That way it just takes a couple dollars from my grocery budget.”
Some parents, like Angi Polando of Plymouth, like to look for special sales for several weeks preceding the back-to-school buying rush.
“I stock up when there are coupons,” said Polando. “The last couple of weeks, Target has had Scotch tape and pens on sale for $1 and the Target website has printable coupons for $1, making them free!”
Polando and her husband Caleb also plan on paying their 4-year-old daughter Sophie’s preschool tuition in two lump payments in order to save over the whole year.
Angela Ganser, Plymouth mom of Autumn, 14, and Amber, 12, takes a environmentally friendly—and cost-effective — approach to school shopping.
“Just before school starts we look at the backpacks and school supplies they used from the previous year, (and) if they are in good shape we reuse them,” said Ganser. “It helps us to keep costs down.”
Ganser also recommends buying staples such as extra paper and folders when they are on sale, since these items will be used throughout the entire year.
“It keeps you from having to pay full price at the time you need them,” said Ganser.
While some area students will be using laptops in school this year, their school supply list remains the same.