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Home > Am I A Cheepskate?!

Am I A Cheepskate?!

August 26th, 2006 at 08:11 am

Ok, we just wrapped up our school clothes shopping and shopping for school supplies. Here in our school district each student gets a school supply list that has several items that they need to bring with them to class on the first day of school. When you have four kids attending school, that can get quite expensive.

So, this year I decided I was going to be a cheepskate and not buy everything on the list. For example, my youngest daughter attending school had "Hand Sanitizer" and "Box of Tissue" on her list. So, there's at least 20 students bringing a box of tissue. Really, is the 2nd grade class going to go through 20 boxes of tissue? And what about Hand Sanitizer? Can't they just got to the bathroom and use the soap in the bathroom?

I honestly don't think that us as parents should have to fork out the money for this kind of stuff. I can understand the pencils, crayons, colored pencils, erasers, notebooks, etc. can be furnished by us. But some of these lists go to the extreme.

And what infuriates me the most is last night my oldest daughter who is about to start middle school walked in and said, "I guess we didn't need to buy graph paper." and hands me an almost brand new graph paper tablet that my oldest son had brought home from school last year. Did he ever use the tablet? Maybe one or two sheets. Hello!! Why can't the teacher buy one tablet and, when needed, tear out a couple of sheets for each student?

We also found a couple of other items that my kids "had to have" that were nearly brand new and almost never used. This just irks me.

What do you think? Am I being a cheepskate?

11 Responses to “Am I A Cheepskate?!”

  1. DivaJen Says:

    Hmmm...tissues. When I taught, tissues were not provided by the school. Did I go through many boxes in a year? Yep. Was it easier to ask parents to help out instead of me buying them all? Definitely. But I never required it - I merely suggested it.

    Graph paper - by pre-Algebra/Algebra kids ought ot be using a lot of graph paper, not just a sheet or two during the year. And if the school doesn't provide it to the teacher, then the teacher is entitled to ask parents to supply it.

    Make sure your bathrooms have soap - not all of them do. Frown
    My two cents as a teacher who has shelled out more money than seems fair when schools aren't providing what they ought to.

  2. DivaJen Says:

    one other thing... Smile
    Middle school teachers here have upwards of 150+ students, so bear that in mind as my perspective. That's a lot of graph paper, many tissues, etc. etc.

  3. rcent106 Says:

    Won't disagree with the responses, but... Seems around here that they want more and more through millage proposals - making it a never ending vote until they get it or make things so inconvenient until they do. Then to top it off, schools want all the "extras" besides and supply less.
    I even saw an ad on the TV this morning for a company that said they had "everything they need for school" that included a laptop computer!
    Before you know it, they will need to bring in reams of paper so they can print out their stuff.
    Seems to me, and I realize this is not the case all the time, that if the kid needs some of those things, they (parents) would send it with them when they need it instead of supplying things for everyone else.
    Cheapskate - no. Rather a person that does a diligent job of watching what counts!

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    Here's something to consider...send the tissues after the winter break. More colds, supplies starting to dwindle. Let the teacher know that this is when you will send. Explain you are on a budget with 5 kids, and these were not possible items now. The sanitizer...maybe have teachers contact you if this becomes a need during the year and send then.

  5. debtfree Says:

    All very good responses-things to think about. DivaJen, I was hoping I wouldn't offend teachers. I know they are quite underpaid and many of them do spend their own money for supplies which to me is totally unacceptable.

    In my district the schools get money for each student attending. That to me is why they push attendance so hard here. It seems that if my student is counted on the roll, and then excused there is not so much of a fuss when they are absent.

    So, if the school is getting money for the children that attend, in my opinion, it should pay for SOME school supplies. I don't mind paying for a few.

    Also, our district just started feeding the kids breakfast. It consists of a cinnamon roll, or fruit snack or pop tart (most times nothing nutritious) that is served AFTER school has started. What a joke! I feed my children a good breakfast before they leave. It bothers me that their classtime is interrupted by "breakfast" Can't the money that's being used to pay for pop tarts be spent on school supplies?

  6. ummabdullah Says:

    I quite agree with you dear! It seems pointless to offer breakfast during school hours. I guess alot of kids may not have such good parents who make sure they eat in the morning though. Still school supplies such as graph paper which only a few sheets are used seems a bit silly to supply. sanitazing?? what .?? thats ridiculous! Tissues. come on!! Its cheaper to buy those in bulk.. Next thing they'll ask for is toilet paper.

  7. DivaJen Says:

    I wasn't offended - as a parent and a teacher I just tend to see both sides of school-related issues. Smile Thanks for hearing my POV.

  8. carol Says:

    May I propose this idea? Why not have the teachers and/or students do a full inventory of all left over school supplies toward the end of the year, sort, then organize them into boxes, crates, etc., into a common storage area and lock up until just before the start of the new school year?

    Where I live, the teachers send the left over supplies home with the children. As a result, I have 2 plastic boxes full of crayons, 1 box full of markers, 1 plastic box full of colored pencils, and a large soup can full of pencils(some in barely used condition, some very used.)

    Because I have saved all left over school supplies every year, it was very easy to throw their school supplies list together this year with minimum buying. I think it would benefit the teachers, and students who for whatever reason/s come to school with no school supplies.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Actually, with all the money that's being given to school districts nowadays, I believe all basic school supplies should be supplied by the school. Anything special the teacher needs, she/he could send notes home to the parents requesting their child bring whatever is needed, when needed, and extras could then be returned home w/the student for next time. That's the way it was handled when I was in school quite a few years ago and that is when schools had a lot less money than they do now. As far as textbooks went back then, each child was given their textbook to use for the semester/year and expected to turn it back in at school end. Any child who couldn't, or turned in a damaged book, the child's parent paid the school for a new one. Although sometimes there weren't enough books for each child to have one (enough planned books, just excess children) and in that case, 2 children would sit together and share one book.

    As far as breakfast/lunch, I don't know how it is in other states, but here in Appalachia (which encompasses several states, not just one) some families are so cash poor, the only meal a child gets all day is the breakfast and/or lunch the school provides. How cash poor? For example, the area I live in is just outside the state capitol and in 1990 had several industrial businesses that employed over 30,000 people with very decent benefits, medical, and salaries even at 2006 prices. Today, several of those businesses have closed and the ones that are left only employ less than 2,000 combined in this area. But the state and news media keep playing up how the local economy is in great shape because there's new businesses going in all the time and there's 'little' unemployment. That's because those new businesses are fast food joints, discount chains, house cleaning/janitorial services, etc.. Since those are the only jobs to be had around here, the only way to make a living here is to work two or three minimum-wage jobs, with little or no benefits. But at the same time, our utilities and tax base are some of the highest in the country. Try going from a $35,000 year job with great benefits to a $12,000 year job(s) with no benefits. Hard to provide the necessities for several children on that. And people around here have been going without electricity or water (hauling from creeks), scrubbing clothing in wash basins/bathtubs, line-drying said clothing, growing veggies in the yard, taking lunches to work, re-using foil, shaving soap to use for laundry, and on and on. That was/is a way of life for us, not just a saving measure. Until last year we never even had a Starbucks to not buy coffee from

    Sorry for the rambling, but schools are a sore point around here. For all you who know anything about history, particularly in other states other than your own, in the 70's this state was on national news several times because of school bombings. I was just a kid then but the grown-ups feelings were easily transmitted to all us kids. A lot of the feelings back then are still circulating around in this state. If I could afford, it I might move.
    Enough said.

  10. beans6 Says:

    Hi , No your not cheap at all. Here is what I always did.Save that list for next year & start buying it early.For things I could not get on clearance or free with coupons I save inkjet cartridges & get the supplies at office max.I use my office perks card so that even if my purchase is free I get credit for my coupons.Also sign up for staples & office depot rewards are emails ,if they send you a coupon office max will honor it.My sons school DS2 ask for wet wipes, huggies had a 2.00 blinkie coupon making the .29 cent a box.Walmart had there crayola 24 count boxes for .20. You can always save if you can plan ahead.

  11. Champion Cheapskate Says:

    Want vs. need. Try not to confuse the two. It can be difficult at times but keep up the good work Smile

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