Glue stick or glue bottle?
If you don’t have the required supplies list from your child’s grade-school teacher, it’s easy to waste money buying the wrong thing.
“Teachers provide a list like these every year and parents have to go shopping,” said Tim Sullivan, founder of TeacherLists.com, a website with more than 400,000 school-supplies lists from all over the country.
Over the years, the lists have become more prescriptive, with teachers requesting certain brands, No. 2 pencils and specific colors of notebooks.
“If you’re a careful shopper, you can certainly save money,” he said.
With the list, you can peruse sales offered by such retailers as Target, Walmart, Staples and Walgreens to get the best deals. Sullivan also recommends taking advantage of door-buster deals and visiting school-supply sections, rather than stationery aisles.
TeachersLists.com is hoping to become the go-to spot for parents looking for school-supplies lists. The website, which is constantly updated, contains lists from many Valley teachers. It also offers manufacturer’s or brand coupons for commonly required supplies.
The website is easy to use: Put in your ZIP code and search the schools that come up for the one your child attends. Then search the list for your child’s teacher. If the list you need isn’t there, call the school.
Don’t go out and buy school supplies you may not need just because they are on sale.
“The worst thing you can do is guess,” Sullivan said. “Guessing wrong can cost.”
Lists used to contain just pencils, notebooks and crayons, but now they include such things as disposable wipes and tissues.
That’s because tightening school budgets leave little extra money for these items, Sullivan said.
The top 25 items being requested this year by teachers are: pencils, folders, facial tissues, glue sticks, crayons, markers, eraser, dry-erase markers, wide-rule spiral notebooks, colored pencils, wide-rule composition notebooks, scissors, highlighters, pens, bottles of glue, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, hand wipes, paper towels, reclosable gallon storage bags, wide-rule filler paper, ruler, package of index cards, pencil box or bag and binder.