Supply stores across the area are prepping for a storm of back to school shoppers to stampede aisles full of carefully placed highlighters and stacks of loose leaf paper. Before you go all out this season, check out this list of splurge worthy items versus items you can skimp on.


A quality backpack

The right backpack will last kids through spills, drops and being accidently left on the roof of the van. Even more importantly, a cheap backpack will hurt your back and posture. If it's tried and true, an investment in a good bag will last you more than a year. For a list of durable book bags, click here.

Laptops and learning technology

A laptop is probably the biggest investment made during back to school spending. Splurge on a laptop that can provide up date virus protection, system updates, and has the memory to store new software without altering the battery life. This will save your student from a lot of late night stress, and give them the option to download learning technology.

Data storage and protection

Even more important than buying a laptop is keeping it safe. Keeping an external hard drive and a quality flash drive around is a great way to save space on your laptop and protect your projects.


Academic success is usually marked in how well a student can manage their time. A good planner will be sturdy. and give you space to write down due dates in the upcoming week and month, and space to schedule your time everyday. If you use it right, you should never forget an assignment, or incorrectly estimate your time.

READ: The back-to-school apps every parent needs



Tissues are a customary addition to any elementary school supplies list. Usually, teachers just like to stockpile boxes for the winter months when kids get runny noses in masses. A $1 box of Kleenex is perfectly fine.

Rulers, pens and pencils (anything that fits in the pencil box, really)

Pens and pencils' average life expectancy is cut pretty short by loss, lunchroom trades and damage. Instead of buying expensive mechanical devices, use basic bulk brands so you'll never run out.

Trendy back to school clothes

Experts recommend doing a deep clean of your wardrobe prior to the school year. Buy what you need during back to school sales, remembering the seasons change quickly. In a few weeks, sweaters and jeans for the fall will be on sale to restock your closet.

MORE: The 3 easy Pinterest meal prep recipes you need for the week!