Back-to-school supply shopping around here usually requires hundreds of dollars, secret strategy by my mom and my dad and me, three trips to six stores, cussing, a Costco membership and plenty of booze guzzling. But this years, the heavens opened and shined a light upon the third grade classrooms at my son’s elementary school and an enlightened teacher got his wings he asked only that parents pay $40 so that he could purchase all the supplies himself before school got started.
You know what that means, other than the teacher just added 20 bucks to his winter holiday Starbucks gift card? It means that I had plenty of time, energy, patience and cash to fill up a basket with my very own school supplies. I asked a bunch of moms to join me — not literally, as most of them were still crabby and frantic getting every single item off of their kids’ lists (sorry for gloating, parents) — and share their favorite school items to buy and keep all to themselves.
Juice-box sticky hands off, kids! Here are the supplies mamas love most.
Which one will be the big winner? And which of these will you add to your own backpack?
This post originally appeared on Babble.com.