|I love this photo of my niece, Aubrey. She wasn't feeling too|
well, and I took her a goody bag. She enjoyed the coloring
book and crayons, as well as the fruit roll ups and other snacks
that I tucked in the bag!
But isn't this fairly typical? Look at the average birthday party, Christmas celebration, graduation, and wedding...the numbers are staggering! And the pressure is, too.
A couple of years ago, I decided I wasn't going to get caught up in the back-to-school hype. Although we want to provide for the needs of our kids, we define that term a little more narrow than most. At the end of the 2010 school year, I put all of their existing supplies in a box for safe keeping through the summer. The following August, we pulled it all out (half-used pencils, partial notebooks, everything), and decided what we could put into use again. That saved a ton! We did the same with uniforms.
This year, now that I am much more alert to "deals", we are watching each week's ads to see what's free or dirt cheap. It is difficult to drag the kids through office supply stores, especially when they see things they "need" for school that aren't on sale yet, but I keep reinforcing the trait of patience, encouraging them to check next week!
So far, we have snagged these:
- 5 count. mechanical pencils - $1 (reg $3.89)
- 2 count scissors - $.99 (reg $1.99)
- protractor - $.05 (reg $1.99)
- pencil pouch - $.05 (reg. $1.99)
- 2-pocket folder with 3 prong - $.05 (reg $.25)
- 10 count #2 pencils - $.10 (reg $.99)
- wooden ruler - $.01 (reg $1.58)
- 24 count crayons - $.01 (reg $.99)
- hp photo paper - $1 (reg $10.99)
- 1" durable binder - $1.79 (reg $3.29)
- composition notebook - $.50 (reg $1.79)
- backpack and lunch combo - free with $15 purchase (another girl and I went together to get this one cause it took so many items to reach $15 with the sales!)
- Backpacks are reusable. You will only get one as your other one wears out.
- Licensed items are probably not happening. In the event of a great sale, you may get lucky. :-)
- If your tennis shoes or school shoes wear out in March and you receive new ones at that time, you may or may not receive new ones at the beginning of the school year. If you keep them nice, they may still look fairly new. If they still fit and aren't sporting holes, you'll probably be wearing them back to school.
- Uniforms are to be given some respect. They are durable, and one shirt can eventually clothe several kids if care is taken.
- Your lunch will consist of a minimal amount of pre-packaged "cool" lunch items. Hopefully, you'll be taking leftover home cooked foods, but since that's not always possible, bologna sandwiches, baggies of chips, and pb&j will be part of your diet. Each item will not be in it's own cute little wrapper, but will likely be coming from a much larger sized package and put into zip bags. ***Exceptions are made for items like juice pouches (Capri Sun or Kool-Aid) or yogurt (Go-Gurt or Danimals) that are found on sale and with coupons.
- When you go on field trips, you will not be given extra money for gift shops, etc. If you want to use your own money, be wise.
- Your ability to learn is neither inhibited nor enhanced by whether or not you receive a pile of new stuff with which to begin each year, rather it lies within your determination to do your best in reading, comprehension, and critical thinking.
Is there anything you are doing this year, either to save money or encourage contentment? I'd love to hear about it!