The supply list asks for 6 packages of sharpened #2 Ticonderoga pencils with erasers (shared) Yes, Ticonderoga is in bold print to emphasize the brand name.
Supply lists send me into a panic since our financial situation shifted. Back to school season has my stomach in knots.
About I week ago I dug out the lists and started taking inventory. Always on the lookout for a sale,I picked up a few things here and there over the course of the summer. I mean, who can say no to 25 cent notebooks?
I remember a similar supply list when Lucie was in this grade a few years ago — the rest of the list isn’t too terrible with the exception of the 3 boxes of crayons and 5 packs of glue sticks. I recognize where the teachers are coming from. They want to make sure the classroom is stocked, especially since they like to have their students share supplies. Plus, crayons are dirt cheap right now so it is better to buy a few boxes now, then to have to replenish the supply boxes over winter break.
Still, I just can’t wrap my head around the 6 boxes of Ticonderoga pencils. I had no intention of making this purchase when I headed out to the office supply store, but I seek out the Ticonderoga brand to figure out the cost difference.
After visiting a few stores, I found out you can buy a package of Ticonderoga pencils for about five or six dollars a package depending on how many pencils are in a pack and if they are pre-sharpened or not. At the store, I was not able to find a smaller pack, which online would run me roughly three dollars a pack. With eight children to buy supplies for, my budget is about 25 dollars each — which is probably about 100 dollars more than I can really afford.
6 X $5 = $30 extra dollars I just don’t have.
There I am standing in the middle of the office superstore loading the 68 cent packs of store brand pencils in my cart feeling strangely inadequate.
My eyes scan the aisle.
I see my daughters looking wistfully at the adorable 10 dollar pencil cases, but they would never dare ask for one. All I see are their smiles as I select the simple one dollar boxes to hold their supplies. They thank me for the plain marble notebooks I picked out when I know they really wish they could have ones with Taylor Swift’s face emblazoned on the front.
I question why I am getting teary eyed. This is ridiculous. A pencil is a pencil, but it isn’t the brand name that is getting me upset. This list is just another reminder that I cannot indulge every whim and want that is directed towards me. I shop the clearance rack and my kids are just as grateful as if I spent hundreds of dollars. They don’t care if they are writing with a Ticonderoga or a “dollar store special.”
Will the teachers judge my decision? Surely I am not the only one sending in store brand items on the first day of school.
I bought the three boxes of crayons, but settled on a single pack of 8 glue sticks from the dollar store — I figure that equals at least 4 packs, right?
I have nothing against Ticonderoga, but 68 cent pencils will have to do this year.