Permanent School Supplies

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Pencil Boxes

Many of the same items show up on my kids’ school supply lists each year, but that doesn’t mean that I buy them again and again. Instead, I aim to buy high-quality items the first time around, so they can be used year after year. Here are some examples:

These Vaultz pencil boxes were a bit on the pricey side, but with metal hinges and reinforced edges, they’re built to last. We’ve already gotten several years out of them, and they still look great. And since, I used Staples Rewards to buy them, pricey still came out to free.


Binders are in and out of backpacks, desks and lockers all day, so they have to be able to hold up to lots of wear and tear. I had one of these Five Star binders when I was in school. It took me through high school and college, and I still use it today. I’ve since snagged a few for my kids on clearance, and they love them just as much as I do.

Pocket Folders

Regular pocket folders rarely make it through a school year without being replaced, but these plastic ones hold up to several years of use. They cost more than the paper ones, if you buy them at the store, but I snagged a stack of these at a yard sale for 10-cents each.

Pencil Pouch

This fabric pencil pouch has holes that are reinforced with metal grommets and a metal zipper. If I ever have to replace it, I’ll be surprised.

Binder Tabs

Paper binder tabs (even the reinforced ones), tear very quickly. These plastic ones are much sturdier, and have already been used for multiple school years.


When my kids started school, I bought them each a backpack with a lifetime warranty (these are Jansport bags). To ensure that they don’t outgrow them, I was careful to choose color/patterns that they won’t find babyish later on. Both backpacks were free-after-rebate, so this was a no-brainer investment. I had a zipper break on a Jansport when I was in high school, and it was replaced with no questions asked. This gives me hope that these bags will take them all the way through college and beyond.

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