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What fun or helpful things did you buy for back to school this year?

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I am VERY late shopping and organizing for school this year.  It's going to be a slow start for us b/c I am juggling too many things right now (sick 93 year old relative and his dog, etc.).  However, I did fit in a trip to the dollar store for Dd (14) yesterday and we got a few things.  I found a pen and calendar I really like and I don't even know what she found, but she was thrilled.


So, in an effort to whip up some excitement for the beginning of the year, I have 2 questions:


1. What have you found CHEAP for back to school?  (organizers, planners, other supplies, fun things, whatever excited you)


2. What have you found that isn't necessarily cheap?  One year, for me it was a 3 hole punch that would do a lot of pages at a time.

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I found these mini dry erase boards in different colors at Office Max.  They were on sale for $2 in the store.  I got one for Dd in lavender and one for me that matches with my kitchen in a blue/green.



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I didn't buy a whole lot this year, though I found the History News series and scooped up as many of them as I could.


My favorite purchase this year is highlighter sticky tabs.  They're reusable and come with about 6 colors.  I use them for EVERYTHING: keeping our place in books, gathering resources for a unit (right now everything Egypt is marked with pink), and remembering special things I want to do.

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For DS14:




Ancient History Go Fish Game


Frixion Retractable Gel Pens


And from Rainbow Resources:


Book Baskets


Pen that smells like popcorn


Periodic Table flash cards


Owl Pencil tin


Darn it Ethel! I just told my husband I definitely didn't need anything else for school right now and you post this list.....that go fish game is too cool! 

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I was a little doubtful about the Frixion pens, but they have become a surprising help for DS10. He writes better and argues a little less. Not much, but every little bit helps.


Cheap things were calendar supplies at the dollar spot and some clip boards there as well. They have be started to define where and how we do school in good ways.


I also got about $40 in supplies for $6 at Office Depot one week, using the sales builders. Pencils, pens, and some folders.

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