10 Back-to-School Buys That Are a Waste of Money
Before you even head out to the stores, shop at home first. Check your closets and desk drawers to see what items you already have.
And if you purchased a backpack or book bag in previous years, as long as it's still intact, why replace the bag every year? Take stock of items you bought last year and try to recycle as much as you can.
For parents on a time crunch, purchasing the pre-packaged lunches at the grocery store are more convenient, but also more expensive than simply buying the ingredients individually and making the sandwich at home.
"My son usually just eats the meat and drinks the juice, leaving the crackers and snacks that he's not particularly fond of -- such a waste, especially since one pre-packaged lunch in New York City costs about $4-$5. As a result, I purchase deli meat to go along with my son's juice boxes and snacks that he enjoys. I use everything to create my own version of the grocery store's pre-packaged lunch," says New York parent Latasha Michelle Kennedy.
For students not yet in college, tablets top the "unnecessary items" list.
"Most teachers won't allow the tablet to be used in-class and even if they are permitted your child won't likely have access to WiFi," says Andrea Eldridge, CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service.
And if you plan on writing school essays on the tablet, you'll need to buy a separate keyboard, which only adds to the cost. "Printing is also a challenge and while the programs available to integrate with Word, Excel and Powerpoint give you basic document and presentation production capabilities, many are limited in their function, particularly when you aren't in range of a WiFi network," Eldridge adds.
For college students, buying a printer for the dorm room might seem like a no-brainer. Until you need to replace the ink cartridges.