Wednesday, August 18, 2010

School Supplies Rip Off

I know some of you still have school age children, others have children that are not old enough to be in school and many of you are like me and have finally gotten our children out of school and on their own, YAAA for us!! So you ask why am I doing a post on school supplies? Two of our 3 daughters are public school teachers, every year since they have graduated and entered the classroom we have put together a goodie box of fun stuff for the classroom and a few school supplies for the kids that might not have much. If you are a teacher or have a teacher in your family you will understand what I am talking about. Teachers make next to nothing, they have no classroom budget for supplies, no magical corporate store room they can go load up on for free. They are expected to cover the costs out of pocket and to add insult to injury they can no longer even take the sorry little $250.00 tax write off they use to get.
With the failing economy in the past 2 years more and more kids are showing up for school with little or nothing in their book bags, not even the basics. I know in some cases it is because their parents just don't care, that has always been the case but now days it is more likely that Mom and Dad are struggling to get food on the table and maybe a new pair of shoes and book bag, there just isn't enough money to go around so for the past 2 years we have stopped putting cute little goodies in the boxes for our girls and now load up on only basic school supplies.
Whats the school supplies rip off you ask? It makes my blood boil to see the prices that stores sell school supplies for on and every day basis but for a few weeks before school starts they run over the top sales. When our girls were in school I was always able to take advantage of the sales and stock up for the year, we might end up having to pick up a pack or 2 of note book paper at the end of the year and pay full price, that would make me crazy over the price they were asking but I dealt with it and moved on. We were lucky, we could buy our girls school clothes, supplies and donate a little something to the teachers for the wish list they always handed out on open house night.
Here is what makes my blood boil, how can the stores sell markers for $1.00 now but charge $3.99 for the same markers next week, how can they sell notebook paper for $.50 now but charge $4.99 next week, how can they sell glue sticks 2 for $.25 now but $1.99 next week, the list can go on and on. You know they are still making money even at the sale price or they wouldn't be doing it. Why can't they price school supplies at a fair price all year? For the parents who are just getting by, who have lost their homes, who have been out of work for months on end, who have taken pay cuts just to keep a job, how the heck are they to come up with a little extra money to get in on the deals for school supplies right now? They can't. They are forced to pay the full ridicules prices later when they have a few extra bucks. I know there are places they could go to receive free school supplies in the community from school supply donations that always go on this time of year but the majority of these people have never taken a hand out in their life, they wouldn't even know where to go to get them. So today I am mad as h... with companies that won't set a fair price year round so our kids can at least have the basics to start school with.
If you have a little extra this year I hope you will consider donating some supplies to your local school, the staff at schools know were the needs are and they can give out the aid in a manner that leaves the kids and parents with some dignity. Maybe you have a neighbor who is out of work and has school age children or someone at your church. Pick up a bag of supplies and help them out. Afraid they might be embarrassed? Try this out, " I was at Wally world today and some strange spirit took over my body, I saw all the school supplies and remembered back how exciting it was to load up my book bag with new stuff, heck the sale was over the top, next thing I knew I had a bag full of supplies that I really don't have any need for. I know your kids are in school I thought they might take this and donate it to the school for me and save me a trip. Make sure and have them go through the bag and take anything you might have forgotten to pick up, it will save you a trip to Wally world. You are saving me a trip to the school, I am saving you a trip to Wally world for a forgotten item, I think that classifies us both as going GREEN!!"

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