Take advantage of all the school supply savings that are going on right now. I just got some FREE school supplies at CVS (after ECB's). Other places (Staples, Office Max, Walgreens, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, etc.) have them super cheap!!!!! I am one to buy them up (whether we need them or not) when they are $0.10 and sometimes even as low as $0.01 (I buy the maximum limit allowed).
"What do you do with them?" you may ask.
1) I have a box that I keep things like that in and when I need a last minute birthday gift for a child I run to the box and put a gift together really quick and inexpensive.
2) I also use these school supplies as 'Thank You' gifts for teachers. My mother was a teacher and she bought a lot of supplies 'out of pocket' for herself and for students that couldn't afford it. If your kids are in High School and may not use things like crayons, you could purchase them and give them to any teacher you know (it doesn't have to be your child's teacher). Don't forget about Teacher Appreciation Week.
3) I use them as stocking stuffers for Christmas for my kids.
4) I use them for 'Operation Christmas Child.'
5) They make great 'Boredom Busters' for my kids when the weather outside is frightful.
6) I use them as 'Get Well Gifts' when a child I know is sick and not able to get up and play. This helps them recoup with quiet time.
7) If the items are small enough (erasers and pencil sharpeners,etc.) I use them to fill Easter Eggs. (Something other than candy.)
8) I use them throughout the year as 'rewards' for my kids. (Beats paying full price later). My kids don't always see what I get and/or I put them up where they forget about them, pull them out later.
*NOTE: It doesn't have to be just school supplies. It could be office supplies or art supplies (if you find them on clearance), stickers, etc. I am constantly looking for deals like this throughout the year (but the deals are more abundant right now).