It’s that time of year again.
Back to school shopping lists in hand, parents are hitting the stores.
But how much you spend on mandatory school supplies really depends on where you live.
CKNW compiled statistics from school supply lists across Metro Vancouver.
Elementary school parents in Vancouver and Richmond pay a $25 fee for mandatory supplies, provided by the school.
But one grade five supply list in Langley totalled more than $100.
Others ranged from $43 Surrey, $65 in Delta, to $76 in Burnaby.
In grade one, the cost was less.
Lists from schools in Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Surrey, Maple Ridge and Delta were all under $50.
Centralized purchasing leads to lower costs
At $25 per child in elementary school, parents in Vancouver and Richmond are benefiting from centralized purchasing.
According to the Richmond School District, it purchases all supplies for each of its elementary schools and secures the lowest possible costs for the entire year.
It also accepts donations, which can then be distributed between schools.
It’s a plan that ends up saving parents money and reduces waste.
Odd requests for supplies
CKNW has discovered some questionable requests on school supply lists.
Some non-traditional school supply requests are becoming common place — like Kleenex boxes for the classroom, Lysol wipes, and even Band-Aids.
But the sheer quantities of supplies being asked for may also puzzle parents.
One supply list in Langley asks grade one parents for eight erasers and ten glue sticks per child.
A Burnaby school asks fifth grade parents to buy their kids two rulers.
Listen to Charmaine de Silva explain more:
BC parents paying above the national average: BMO report
Of course, school supplies aren’t the only cash parents will be doling out.
A report from BMO suggests elementary school parents in BC will spend an average of $167.
That’s more than the national average of $158.
Parents of BC secondary students are expected to shed about $215.