Thursday, 28 June 2012

Saving, or not, on stationery and educational supplies

We've made some efforts to be prudent about stationery use. Obviously, it is important to have sufficient for our use and a bit frustrating to buy small numbers of expensive pencils which all mysteriously go missing, the week after they were brought.

It is also frustrating to buy poor quality supplies. We've decided that cheap felt tip pens aren't worth buying as the high quality ones last so much longer and give better results.

So the savings:

The one that definitely works is to have a pile of scrap paper and use this. There is plenty of paper-those pages which print three sheets with only one of useful information, the print-out which is discarded and so on.

The one that should have worked but didn't, was buying the children little white boards. This was a false saving at a pound shop as the boards fell apart on day one. Once I've done some research, I'm hoping to go for a better quality version. I have heard slates recommended.

The one that partially worked was using School Surplus. Some of the items are amazingly inexpensive. A4 lined paper was £3 for 6 blocks and the air hardening clay was £2 for 2kg which was about 25% of the last lot I brought. The Bic biros were 95p for 20.  Glue sticks, and we use many of these, were £2 for 12 which is pretty good.

The equivalence dominoes ( fractions, decimals and visual representations of fractions) were £3 and are well made as was the geoboard for £1.

The page a day diary did state 2013 on the blurb but came as academic year 2011-2012 which ,of course, is almost complete. The lever arch file failed to work properly.

Would I use them again? Probably, yes as the prices are very competitive but I might be a bit more careful what I brought.

The one that isn't available now but is worthwhile when available is the deal that Lidls have on art sets. We've brought the younger children's version and the older version of these. The younger version has been used almost daily all this year and is still going strong. It has a plastic carry case and contains felt tips, oil based pastels, coloured crayons, watercolours, paint brushes, pencil and sharpener. The older version has had less use but has a wood carry case and contains pastels, water colours, charcoal, coloured crayons and pencils. I'm hoping these become available latter in the year, again.

The one with worthwhile savings if they have the item needed: The Southwark technology shop supplies a small range of equipment for science and technology at very competitive prices.  We've used them for supplies for electrical circuits, large numbers of googly eyes, magnets and lollysticks. I see that they do pH paper at 30p for 20 strips.

Any other tips on stationery and educational supplies?


  1. I find that Baker Ross ( is reasonably priced and very good quality in general x

  2. Thank you, Rachael, I will have a look at their site.