Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Buy an Apple for Your Teacher

And...  it's that time of year again. Time for new backpacks. Time for new lunchboxes. Time for new shoes, and jeans, and clothing of all kinds! Time for back-to-school shopping! Oh, and school too I suppose. As excited as we are around here for the start of 1st grade and preschool (only 1 kid still home all day), it's hard to parallel the excitement I get over a reason and a justification to spend money. And as I've been catching people's tweets, status updates, and posts about what they do & buy to prepare for the new school year, I've been wondering about the necessities. What new items do you buy, beg, borrow or steal for your children?

Our biggest challenge this year was tennis shoes for my 1st grader. He still can't tie his shoes and my husband insisted on non-lace shoes. I took my boy to 7 or 8 stores and couldn't find anything we liked for less than $20. And most around $30. Is it just me? Am I totally cheap? I can barely pay $20 for shoes for me!

Payless has some awesome shoes, in addition to all the lame character tennies. Unfortunately the cool ones were $20-25, and I kept looking. We found some cool, classic Vans for $20 but my boy is used to flat, flexible soles and said they felt weird. We are not skaters over here. In the end, I found some slip-on Converse for under $17 at Nordstroms. It was a special deal on only one color (chocolate brown) and the store matched the price for me. Great experience and shoes are checked off the list.

As for clothes, that's where I get a little disappointed. Because I do so much clearance-rack shopping year round, there's not much left to do in August. My friend, Becky, posted about getting her three kids school ready and said she spent over $400. That only included three new outfits for each of them. We saved on not having to buy a backpack, lunchbox, or any school supplies. (We never got a list of supplies. Will he come home with one tomorrow?) For my son, he is just ready to move from size 5 to size 6, and his birthday is next month so I spent some time today pulling out all his size 6 clothes. Despite not feeling like I spent much money for back-to-school clothes, I pulled off tags totalling about $80 worth of new things.

And what do we have to show for it all? A year's worth of clothes:
10-12 t-shirts
4 polos
3 pairs of jeans
2 pairs of other pants
4-5 pairs of shorts
4-6 long-sleeved shirts (do kids need these for winter in AZ? I say yes, husband no)
various (plenty of) church clothes

What do you think? Is it too much? Ridiculously too little? Am I forgetting something? Yes, he has socks, underwear, pajamas, and jackets too. And probably way too many of each. Just like me!


Susan said...

I feel like I didn't buy that much either, but I still ended up paying a bunch! I always shop clearance and use coupons - it just adds up quickly.

Lindsey said...

I LOVE doing clearance rack shopping! And living here in AZ makes it easy too because they wear the same kind of clothes for all but a few months out of the year. LOVE IT!

Steph said...

The only clothes I bought my boys were new socks and shoes, and 2 pairs of shorts for the oldest. I usually buy them one new shirt for the first day, but they didn't want to bother picking one out and didn't care, so they wore old ones. I just clearance shop all year and they always have plenty of clothes, so I kind of skip the whole back to school thing. Boring, but cheap!

Candice said...

Wow, that's alot of clothes for $80! Good job! I hope the first day was a good one for Alden! I can't wait for JC's first day of preschool!