It’s that time of year again. When the temperatures hit the triple digits, when downtown Indianapolis gets funky, and when kids are squeezing as much fun out of the last little bits of summer before school starts.

That’s right, it’s time for tax-free weekends and back to school sales. Time to pick up another year’s worth of gaming supplies.

Even if your state isn’t having a tax-free weekend (or has already had it * ), many of the local stores will have school supplies as loss-leaders, such as a spiral notebook for a nickel.

So if you are looking for another reason to adopt index cards, here it is. If you really want to go old-school, grab some notebooks. Other items common to school and gaming: boxes for pencils (or dice), graph paper, heavy stock paper, map colors, notepads, binders, tape, and even compasses and other drawing tools.

It’s no news to anyone that the economy sucks, and any savings are most welcome. If you have other advice or ideas for gaming on the cheap, sound off in the comments and let us know!

( * Every year, I resolve to write this earlier. Every year, I fail. My apologies if your state has already had it’s tax-free weekend. And if you live somewhere other than North America, I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into our society.)