Back To School Shopping… Back To School Uniforms… Back To School schedules… Everybody, hold on a minute!!! It is the 2nd week of August and I am just not prepared to think about all this stuff yet. It is SUMMER! It is my time of relaxation, laziness, no routines and sleeping in. I am, by no means, going to humour all of this back to school talk! I am not taking the kids shopping for supplies or clothing, I am not running out of town to purchase school uniforms and I am certainly NOT going to step back into the crazy routine of schedules! Leave me alone, this Mama is on holidays!
A good 2 weeks ago, back in July, while shopping at our local department store, the very first display of products as you walked into the store, were school supplies. My daughter says, “We need to get our school supplies mom”. Whoa, no-no-no! “Mama doesn’t need to get NO school supplies just yet.” It is summer. I have barely gotten the last school year out of my head. What is wrong with society today? Am I wrong in thinking that pretty soon, all department stores will have all of the holiday products displayed year ’round! Am I living in the Twilight Zone?
Yes, I am having a “moment” here. Ya, okay, temper tantrum! But honestly, who else is feeling this way? I cannot be the only Mom on this planet who thinks this world is going consumer crazy! I mean, come on, do the owners of these franchises not realize that I have a summer to enjoy? Is there no sanctity in my summer vacation? Listen to me, it is clearly obvious that I haven’t cleansed my system yet, from school last year! Can I have a break here?
I just want to enjoy my summer without the thought of school, schedules and early morning wake ups! All year, from September to June, all I do is run! Summer is my time to unwind, and hibernate from the demands of life! Is it too much to ask to just let the summer be the summer and leave school stuff until the very last minute?
Sigh… Ok, I have calmed down. I got a little carried away there, for a minute. As much as I just do not want to focus on the reality that back to school is just around the corner, the time has come to prepare for it. But I refuse to just head off to the store and start buying stuff. That is NOT how this Mama flies.
Every year, we go through the kids school supplies from last year. I make a list of what they need, and nothing more. If their pencil case is still intact, they reuse it. If they still have erasers and pencil sharpeners, a compass and ruler, guess what? They reuse it. For the computer Memory Sticks, the children need for their school work, I just reuse their old ones from the previous year, delete the old information to make room for the new. I like to get as much use out of our belongings as I possibly can. Both my children received new back packs last year, so guess what, the zippers aren’t broken and there are no holes, so no one gets new. That is how I roll. I save money this way, lots of money!
And I do not go to the big name brand stores to shop. Oh heck no! If I can get the same product at a dollar store or discount department store, you can bet your cookies I am going to! Pencils and pens and paper are the same whether you pay $1 for a package of them or $5. However, I do purchase their back packs at stores that specialize in luggage. Their name brands seem to withstand the weathering and abuse back packs go through. One year, I bought a “cheapy” back pack for my son and ended up half way through the year, buying him another one. It fell apart. I just isn’t worth it.
When it comes to clothing, I really have no choice. My children both need to wear uniforms to school, school policy. The only way to save money on school uniforms is to purchase them second hand. But honestly, I tried that once. The fit just wasn’t the same, and I found myself buying more in a few months for my child anyhow. So I just bite the bullet and spend the money for brand new. Now, as long as they don’t grow a whole bunch, they will get a couple-three years out of their uniforms.
For their everyday clothing, I get the bare minimum, if I buy them any at all. Then for Christmas, I will get them a couple of really nice outfits. And voila! I have completed the back to school shopping. It all gets done within one day of shopping and I can get back to resuming my wonderful relaxing summer. Summer only lasts a short couple of months, I like to take it all in, right down the very last crumb!
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