School supply lists getting longer, more complicated

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MIDLAND - Parents don’t look now, but the month of August has almost arrived and that means it’s time to get ready for another school year.

“Once I realize it’s Tax Free weekend, I know registration is going to be close,” Ector County ISD parent Sarah Ramirez said. “It takes all day to get it done, but you have to do it.

Local business owner and mother of two school-aged children, Ramirez is all too familiar with the dog days of summer. After a brief vacation with the kids, it’s already time to start thinking ahead to another school year.

But first, those four dreaded words on the tip of every parent’s tongue: back to school shopping.

“Even my preschooler, she needs a backpack and crayons and pencils to go to preschool. So it’s like a little mini Christmas for all the kids,” she said. “They all get new clothes and they all get a new pair of shoes and they all get these school supplies.”

Of course, utensils are much cheaper than clothes, but the school supply lists are getting longer and more complicated.

“Oh my goodness, all we had to do was get a big chief notepad and a pencil when I went to school!” Ramirez said. “With my first grader it’s three boxes of Kleenex, a pencil box, crayons and markers and sharpies and erasers. For my 7th grader, they have to wear clear backpacks, so now we have to go online and buy a clear mesh backpack.”

Ramirez is not alone. Many parents have resorted to online shopping to find what they need and compare prices.

In fact, that clear backpack she was searching for? We found one on Amazon for under $10.

We took the school supply list for Ramirez’s first grader to see how much time and money it takes to send them to school. The laundry list of supplies include crayons, markers, several kinds of notebooks, folders even Ziplock baggies.

Item, after item, after item, it took us about 30 minutes to find everything on the list. Our total came out to $30, a reasonable price for supplies to last an entire school year. Keep in mind we did it all before tax free weekend and avoided the crowd that comes along with it.