5 Back to School Supplies Worth Splurging On

Sheri Reed
Tweens & Teens

abacus counting beadsYour child's education is, no doubt, of critical importance to you. However, that doesn't mean you have to buy top-dollar school supplies across the board. Plenty of average, everyday pens, protractors, and lunch totes (which get pretty gross by the end of the school year anyway) will do your child just fine.

So when it comes to school supplies, what items are worth a minor or major splurge on your part?

Read on to find out what back to school goods are worth extra bucks.

5 Back to School Supplies Worth Splurging On:

recycled binder paperRoaring Spring Recycled Filler Paper -- 100 Sheets ($2.29) at Discount Office Items

1. Recycled paper and other green products: Buying recycled paper and other school supplies sends a great message to your tween or teen about the importance of the planet. Sure, these items often cost a bit more, but you'll feel good knowing they came from recycled materials. Nowadays you can find eco-friendly binder paper, notebooks, folders, binders, Post-It notes, and more.

JanSport backpack

JanSport SuperBreak Colorblock ($29.99) at GearHut.com

2. Quality backpack: A quality backpack can last for several years, so don't feel bad buying a good brand name backpack -- unless you have a trend-chasing tween or teen who likes to change his or her backpack with the fashion scene. JanSport, Land's End, and L.L. Bean all offer well-made, long-lasting backpacks. Consider the newest backpack "bells and whistles" that your kid might need, like jacket-holding bungees, stow pockets for cleats, removable organizer pouches, ergonomic shoulder straps, lunch tote clips, and water bottle, cell phone, and iPod pockets.

red desk workspaceLINNARP Desk ($119) at IKEA

3. A good desk or workspace: It's very important to designate a homework space in your home just for your tween or teen. There are lots of affordable desks out there. You might even find one in a thrift store or at a garage sale, so your student understands that schoolwork has a critical place in your household. Before you buy, consider how long you plan to keep the desk. A small desk or table might have worked for elementary-age kids, but as kids get into middle school and high school, they'll have more books to spread out and quite possibly a need for a laptop or desktop computer.


apple macbook computer

MacBook Laptop ($999.99) at Apple

4. Computer: And about that computer... Let's face it, our kids are growing up completely immersed in the era of computer and internet technology. Once your kids hit high school, or maybe even middle school, they're going to need a computer to do research, type term papers, and more. If you're big on education, find a way to get your child a desktop or laptop computer. Many stores sell refurbished computers for a nice discount. Laptops are smaller and easy for your student to carry to school. However, it's easier to keep an eye on your kid's internet surfing if you limit their computer use to a central area at home.


watercolor paint set


Pelikan Watercolor Set (reg. price $40.99; sale price $29.99) at Utrecht

5. High-End Gear, Equipment or Supplies: If your high school student shows a real skill and interest in a certain subject area, consider splurging on some top-notch gear, equipment, or supplies. A nice bat for your baseball or softball player, a quality watercolor set for your artist child, or educational books on the subject matter. This helps demonstrate to your child that you're serious about their success and genuinely interested in what's important to them. Of course, they should really prove themselves before you lay down fifty or a hundred bucks on any piece of gear or equipment.

What school supplies do you splurge on for your kids?


Abacus image via Amazon

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