Yup. It's that time of the year. That time when those three little words make me run, screaming, from every store...
"Back to School".
Why must summer go so fast? I dread the "Back to School" season for two reasons; 1. Because I LOVE the pace of summer and having my kids around 24/7 and 2. the cost.
Holy moly, the cost.
Four school kids.
Four "(Insert child's name here) and Mom Day"s...a day for each one of my school aged kids, to hang with me and get their school shopping done. Every year that I've added a "shopper" I've had to become more and more savvy with my shopping, or else, "good-bye budget".
Enter: store discount coupons. Kohl's coupons, Justice, Gymboree, Gap, American Eagle...they start rolling in and I start stashing them in my purse. I can NOT stick to a budget without these coupons. (And with a "clothes horse" like Belle and my weakness for adorable girls' clothes, these coupons allow us to get "just a bit more"...you know?)
So, I start to plan my shopping excursions around the valid dates of the coupons...Gap coupon valid from 8/x-8/y? That's when Belle and I will hit up the outlet mall. American Eagle jeans sale on a certain day? Enter "Pal and Mom Day".
And the shoes. Oh dear God, the shoes. Again, back to the coupons and or specials. The BOGO specials or the "spend x amount, save x amount" deals are my friend. As are "last season's models" that are typically heavily reduced and still just as stylish as the obscenely priced "current season's models".
When it comes to school supplies, I really try to get creative. I discovered that most of my children do not use all of their supplies up from the previous year, so I set them aside to send along again in the new year because, trust me, I do not need 6 bottles of Elmer's glue laying around my house.
This is another instance of watching for great sales. I've learned that if I wait until the last minute, not only do I end up paying full price for multiple school supply lists but, also, finding that nearly everything is picked over and/or out of stock.
Learn from me. Shop the early sales...your budget AND your kids will thank you...particularly your boys, who don't especially appreciate bringing "My Little Pony" folders to school. Ahem.
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