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I definitely did not buy my daughters a new backpack every year. In fact, I bought each one a quality one when they were starting middle school and they used the same one through high school and college. I did have to buy a "sleeve" for each at the start of college that they could put their laptop in, but that's been about it in terms of backpacks. The important consideration, in my opinion, was to buy a quality one early on. My oldest still uses hers when traveling.
As for other school supplies, we had some arguing, but not much. I appreciate that my girls' schools didn't go too overboard with the supply lists and only asked the parents to buy things that would truly be needed and used. Sometimes during the school years, teachers would ask for specific supplies for the classroom and I was always happy to contribute since I knew it would be used (given they were asking for it specifically).