Last week, I dropped $90 on school supplies for my 6-year-old twins. And that didn’t include clothes and shoes, two things that suck the life out of any budget.
As you may know, I hate shopping. For some reason, I feel guilty when I spend money, though that has never slowed me down. Plus, I’d rather be doing something productive, like flitting around on Twitter.
But there are a few things we haven’t had to re-purchase this year because we did it right last year. And in that preachy, I-know-it-all tone that I’m perfecting as a mother, I’m going to share what I learned.
(1) A Backpack
Buy a sturdy kid’s backpack from a mountaining/outdoorsy shop. We purchased two from Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) for under $25 each. Our kids have used them every day for two years and they look brand new. Plus, MEC has a lifetime guarantee that they honour, so these backpacks just may become family heirlooms.
(2) A Lunch Bag
Buy a lunch bag that is machine washable. I’ve tried insulated bags and spent too much time digging out cracker crumbs, yogurt spills, and mashed cheese from the seams. We purchased these neoprene ones from Staples and, like the backpacks described above, the lunch bags still look brand new.
(3) A Water bottle
Buy a stainless steel water bottle. I fill it up half with juice and half with water every day, then my kids refill it with water when they run out. I save money on juice boxes and I put it in the dishwasher every night. You can change the lid once a year, too. And when you go out to a movie with your spouse, you can put wine in it; the stainless steel keeps a Pinot Grigio cold for two hours. Not that I’ve done this.
(4) and (5) Children
The last must-have school supplies are my children. And you can’t have them. Well, not today.
So, there you have it: three things that stay clean…and my children.
Please share any Back-To-School Tips (or Horror Stories) in the comments section.