Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Is there help for single parents when it comes to buying school supplies?

My son will be in the first grade and I just looked up the school supply list and I know I can not afford everything on that list if even any of it. What can I do? Is there help for my son?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:54 PM on Jul. 14, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (12)
  • In my daughters pre K class, I let it be know to the teachers and the parents that

    I was a single mom....meaning one income...and that I will help out ofcourse but
    it needs to be done fairly....

    I had to buy the stuff that was the least exspensive...

    Answer by Dannee at 12:58 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • I am not a single mom but our budget it every tight. I have been picking up 2 or 3 things off of the list at wal-mart when shop each week. They have great discounts on stuff, like crayons for 25 cents and notebooks for 60 cents. Every year staples does a big 1 cent sale on school supplies to.. Just watch he papers and anything you can't get in time let the teacher know. try to get the essentials and skip the 'classroom' stuff if needed like the tissues or dry erase markers. Just remember you can only do what you can do and the teacher I'm sure has been through it before. I know we are not getting zip- loc bags, dry erase markers or 2 things of Clorox wipe for my sons class. Well, It's at the bottom of my list any way.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 1:11 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • Try going down to your local church for help, also if you have a dollar store try there first. Also thrift stores have good prices on back packs. My mom would spend about $10 on our school supplies, crayons, pencils, paper, binder, and a back pack, $10 isn't a lot just shop around. Seriously shop around you'll find things.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:18 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • def. what the PP said about watching the papers, when i worked at walmart moms got down right fierce at walmart during the penny sales, i bought two boxes worth of notebooks for less than 1...that was like 60 notebooks..i dontated one box to my aunts classroom. Buy what you can, in most cases the teacher will have extras for the students who dont have enough. Churches may help, but the school usually has a closet or a room set aside full of supplies for students who couldnt get all they needed. In first grade they shouldnt need that much anyways. Just do what you can, when you can!! Good luck, and dont stress, your only ONE mom among many who deal with this!!!

    Answer by sweetstkissez22 at 1:29 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • I'm not sure. Maybe if you start now and just buy one or two things a week you'll be able to get some of it. I'm not sure about your sons school but most elementary classes take all the supplies brought in by the parents and put them in one supply closet and everyone shares anyway. Maybe you could just bring in what you can and explain the situation to her teacher. I know the teachers around here are pretty understanding of that sort of thing and may even let you do things like bring in the supplies throughout the year so you'd only have to buy one or two things a month.

    Answer by Chandra034 at 1:59 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • Instead of going to churches to ask for handouts look around you and see what you can cut back on to make ends meet. (Ex. home internet access, the library offers free internet that could save an average of $40-50 that would easily cover school supplies) All these back to school sales make supplies beyond reasonable, especially for the younger grades considering they don't need individual folders for each subject, scientific calcs, etc. Just watch the ads, drop by stores in the middle of the week and ask for a raincheck or when items will be restocked if they're out.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:34 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • I agree....keep checking ads and sales for stores. They have some great ones when it comes to back to school.

    What's unfair, at least around here, is some schools make the list where it's like "10 boxes of #2 pencils, 10 boxes of crayons...." and so. And it's for the class as a whole! I'm all for donating things when I can, but they should list it as what the child needs and then seperating ask for donations of the same products. I understand budget cuts, but everyone else's money is tight too.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:54 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • Many schools have donation funds to pay for supplies for the parents who can't afford them. Buy what you can at the dollar store, and ask the teacher about the other stuff.

    Answer by mancosmomma at 3:15 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • I would call the school that your child will be attending, or something like social services/wic/etc. and see if they have some type of assistance program. I know our school sent out a paper stating that if you needed help w/ school supplies to fill it out and actually it is our local Salvation Army (they also run the food shelf, etc in our town) that will be providing assistance w/ school supplies to families who need it.


    Answer by sarahmae3 at 3:44 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • We are lucky. My daughter's principle is going to buy what all the students need, out of his pocket, and we will have to pay a small amount of what the supplies will cost. If you can not afford it, talk to your school's resource department. Someone in there will be able to help you.

    Answer by krissyvelazquez at 5:34 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.