How Much Do You Spend on School Supplies?

Patch bought school supplies on the suggested lists and found out how much parents spend.

The cost of one child’s school supplies ranged between $35 and $50 for elementary and middle school grades.

Patch randomly selected three schools and purchased the cheapest version of each item in the amount requested from Walmart.

The schools selected were half-day kindergarten at , first grade at and seventh grade at . High school lists were not available, because each hour has their own supply list.

Totals without tax are also included for those taking advantage of the .

Beasley Principal Andrea Deane said the lists are a conservative estimate of the year's school supplies. Teachers in each grade level meet and start planning the lists in the spring. 

"They take a lot of time to consider exactly what parents need to purchase," she said. "They look at supplies that haven't been used from the previous year and what kids took back home."

Parents most often question items like Ziploc bags on the suggested lists. Deane said with more hands-on curriculum materials such as pattern blocks and money, students need the bags to organize their own materials. 

"They need to be organized for the students so they don't waste class time in dividing up the materials each day," she said. "Also, parents question dry erase markers. Each student has a dry erase board to conserve paper and parents think they're buying the markers for the teachers."

Teachers also focus on individual student versus classroom supplies, Deane said. 

Where do you purchase school supplies for your children? Do you bring them along? Purchase name-brand or extra supplies?

Beasley Elementary School
Half-Day Kindergarten Supply List

4 Two-pocket folders  


1 Backpack


1 Large paint shirt for art class                        


1 Box Crayola markers 


1 Package dry erase markers 


1 Box crayons (24 count) 


8-10 Glue sticks      


1 Bottle liquid glue  


1 Pair children’s scissors     


1 Old sock


2 Bottles anti-bacterial liquid hand soap


1 Box of 2-gallon size Ziploc bags     


1 Box of baggies (any size but snack size)  


2 Rolls paper towels  


3 Boxes of tissues 


1 Container of disinfecting wipes 




Total with tax: 


$6 Party money


Forder Elementary School
First Grade Supply List

1 Backpack  


No. 2 Pencils  


Liquid Glue


5 Big Glue Sticks 


4 Erasers  




2 Boxes Crayons 


1 Box colored pencils  


1 Package markers  


4 Pack fat dry erase markers 


3 Spiral notebooks (100+ pages) 


1 Poly Plastic two-pocket folders 


Small School Box 


2 Boxes Kleenex  


1 Roll paper towels


1 Pair ear buds 




Total with tax:   


Oakville Middle School
Seventh and eighth grade supplies

1 3-inch zippered binder with three rings   


8 Dividers for each class


White, loose leave paper 


Black or Blue ballpoint pens


No. 2 pencils   


Red grading pens 




Locker Pouch  


Colored Pencils


Thin Markers 


Ruler with Metric


Glue stick




Combination lock




Total with tax:


Patch will donate the supplies to the schools selected. 

Liz August 04, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Love that you did this! Thanks so much. Don't forget that teachers can use hand sanitizer and kleenex and paper towels too as the year goes on. Oakville middle school serves students grades 6, 7, and 8. :)
D Seidel August 04, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Nice report, Sarah. Teachers, don't forget to save and submit your receipts to Mr. Franz. Yes, teachers (and sometimes PTOs) provide a safety net for students whose families are unable to afford school supplies.
Robyn Turner August 04, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Liz, glad you caught that too, I was about to leave a comment :) Fifth grade is still an elementary grade.......so they are not at Oakville Middle....lol. Must have been an Oakville Elementary 5th grade list..
Robyn Turner August 04, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Okay, looking at the detailed list, the Oakville Middle School one must be for the middle school, not the 4th and 5th graders. Because having two fifth graders at Point, I can tell you that my list was much longer and more detailed that the one you show above. So, I am guessing that it IS a middle school supply list, and not a 4th or 5th grade list. Gives me something to look forward to, a shorter, easier list.
JB Matoushek August 04, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Sarah, don't forget to buy extra! You will be asked to replish the supplies throughout the year, and you need the same at home for homework. Here is the MHS Supply list link, and it's extensive, and then each class will send a more specific list home after the 1st day. http://mhs.mehlvilleschooldistrict.com/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=237696&SID
Sarah Flagg August 04, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Sorry guys! I meant seventh and eighth grades! It was an Oakville Middle School list and the sixth grade had a few extra required items. Thanks for the correction!
Jill Jones August 04, 2012 at 06:36 PM
We spent around $48 at Target. We are using some supplies from last year. But we also bought new a new backpack and lunchbox, even though we could have got by. I figure if it makes my child excited about going back to school and she gets good grades , it's worth it. That was in addition to the $48.
Sarah Flagg August 04, 2012 at 06:38 PM
That's a really good point, Jill!
D Seidel August 05, 2012 at 06:32 AM
Added cost at high school level. http://school-supplies.ohs.mehlvilleschooldistrict.com/modules/locker/files/get_group_file.phtml?fid=17335518&gid=2633999&sessionid=24ca9e61fdb9a7a46e8e7f8abe5d01fd
D Seidel August 05, 2012 at 06:37 AM
Cameras, flash drives, graphing calculators, foreign language dictionaries, lab fees, family and consumer science fees, woodworking fees and more.
D Seidel August 05, 2012 at 06:39 AM
If your child participates in band, strings or choir, there are instrument and uniform fees. It adds up quickly!
Dyanne Griffin August 06, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Teachers still spend about $450 of their own money on supplies too! Crazy! Teacherlists.com is a great way for teachers to post their supply lists- the things kids are required to bring in - and wish lists - things they need such as the items Liz mentioned - paper towels, tissues, etc. parents who are able can help throughout the year instead of just at back-to-school.


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