Before the Bell

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Buy supplies early and get more than you need. Most schools don’t distribute a list of necessary supplies until the first day, but why wait? Buying early, say the beginning of August, means you’ll avoid the inevitable long lines and price hikes. “Last summer, I bought notebook and folders in every color,” says Sharon Lowenheim of Organizing Goddess, Inc. “Whatever my kid didn’t need, I brought back.” Staples even lets customers return items purchased online to a physical store, so you don’t have to deal with shipping hassles.

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