Savvy School Supply Tips (With Microsoft Offer)

“Mom, when are we going to start shopping for school?”

All 3 children have asked already. They don’t realize that I started months ago. Nothing intense, but if I saw a notebook or a poster board for a ridiculously low price, I snagged it. Because as much as I love the smell of new school supplies (can you name that movie?), I don’t like paying for them or fighting the crowds to get loose leaf paper before they’re sold out!

Yet, we all have to do it. Take my advice and don’t wait until lists are printed. Visit the school’s website– they usually post the general supply lists on there early. Next, I start by getting the newspaper. Admittedly, I don’t have a subscription most of the summer because we eat so much food from the garden or community produce co-op. But come August, those coupons and deal inserts come in handy!

In fact, the kids know that once the paper starts coming there will be some Sunday morning runs to the store before or after church. Chances are, if you wait until Monday, the 1 cent pencils, paper, etc. won’t still be in stock. Besides the newspaper, my favorite resource for when and where to buy school supplies is at Fabulessly Frugal. Each week they’ve been posting a spreadsheet that outlines each school item, the lowest price of 2011, the lowest price of the week, and where you can find it. I love this because if you know the lowest price of last year’s season was 40 cents but this week the lowest price is 75 cents, then I feel relatively confident that I can wait a while on that item.

Speaking of spreadsheets, if you have a middle school or high school student, chances are they will be learning how to do spreadsheets, computer presentations, and other computer work that will blow your mind. I lost track of the times my daughter needed the computer, and most specifically needed Microsoft Office. In the beginning I kept directing her to an open source program but all of her teachers were using Microsoft’s PowerPoint and the platform (and options) were varied enough that it was becoming a problem. Once I gave her Microsoft Office 2010, she had a lot more fun and got a better grade.

Why? Because if we didn’t have it at home, she’d have to stay after school to finish it in the computer lab where she’d have to wait for a computer and rush through it. At home, not only can she really flesh it out, but she can practice her presentation complete with media graphics for us, and felt more confident presenting in front of the district panel judges.

Did you know you can edit the photos within the Word or PowerPoint document? Yeah, learned that from my daughter.

You can insert portions of your spreadsheets and graphs into your presentation. Even in fifth grade, my son had to come up with a spreadsheet and graphs for his state project and science project. Microsoft Excel to the rescue! (He taught me that you can make graphs look 3D now.) In addition to the required projects, my kiddos love the photos, graphics, audio and video capabilities, and fun they can have with the digital notebook in OneNote.

So, that being said, I’m sold on Microsoft Office 2010 being on the school supply list. And thankfully, Microsoft agrees and is providing a 15% off for Office. This promotion ends on 9/14.

Read other bloggers’ school shopping tips and posts at the Microsoft Office 2010′s brand page on

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