Starting Your Back to School Shopping

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It is only the middle of July and I cannot believe I am thinking of school. I still have to pick Boo up from summer camp, plus we have fair and camping still to go before the school year starts. Yet, that is exactly why I start shopping early. I just won’t have time the 3 weeks before school to get much done.

Many stores are already starting their big sales for the year. The question becomes what do you buy and how much of it? My district does offer the classroom lists but to be quite honest, I have not picked one up in years. I found that I was purchasing items that my kids never used. And some teachers were just too darn picky IMO. If I go to buy a notebook and they don’t have green I don’t worry about it. After 15 years I have a pretty good idea of what to buy and I stick to that list and purchase extra of the supplies that need replacing over the year such as pencils and stick glue. I also buy items that go on the craft shelf, such as white school glue.

STAPLES has weekly sales, some of which are rock bottom prices. Keep in mind, that to get the items for only pennies, you need to spend a minimum of $5! This is a good time to purchase items you know you need anyways such as printer ink or reams of paper. This year you can also invest in a discount card for $10 that offers 15% off all purchases. This year it includes sale items and backpacks. It is only worth it is you are going to save more than $10! Today I spent $5.44, saving 80% off the regular price.

TARGET often has great deals and if you have been able to stock up on the gift cards from purchasing specific items, you basically are getting items for free.

WAL MART does not always have its weekly ad online. There should be copies in the store, but at my local store I cannot always count on that. They don’t do a lot of dramatic price reductions, so when the store does have extremely low prices I take advantage of it. For example, today I purchased spiral notebooks for $.17 each and the folders were $.15 apiece, for a grand total of $2.48. I brought home enough to last the year. I never know how many teachers will require them so I make sure to have extra. They all get used eventually. As my kids have moved up to middle and high school, they mainly use binders, so I have a few folders on hand only for specific projects.

To keep them in good condition , I store notebooks and folders in the file cabinet.

All the smaller items go into an old Schwan’s ice cream tin which is kept on top of the filing cabinet. The kids all know that when they need more of something they can just go grab it. Ultimately it only matters that you keep ALL your school supplies in 1 place so that you can easily find them when you are ready for the first day of school.

An important item is the school backpack. I have seen far too many Wal Mart bags that simply don’t last half the school year, I wont’ buy them ever again. It is the one item I am willing to invest in. Boo used the Jan Sport bag from Preschool through 4th grade. It did not need to be replaced, she just wanted a new bag. We have always been happy with Lands End as well as LL Bean. All 3 companies have excellent warranties and customer service.

Lands End is offering $20 off a $75 purchase through Monday, July 16th. Also if you use the promos code Code JULY and PIN 5230 you can receive free shipping on orders over $50.

What are the items that you usually include in your back to school shopping? If you find some good deals, please share with the rest of us. Each week I will update what I find and where so be sure to come back.

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About keepingiteasyandsimple

I have been married for 20 years and have 3 children. My oldest is 20 and currently in the National Guard. My daughters are 15 and 11 and involved in everything. I believe life is difficult enough, that we can find ways to make the everyday just a little easier and perhaps even more simple. I love to cook, shop and make things with the kids.

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