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:
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!