Sunday, August 15, 2010

Time for Back-To-School Shopping

I couldn't resist this teal binder from OfficeMax. I think I'll store recipe clippings in it.

It's time to get the kids ready to start school again!


  • Make time this week for a quiet evening at home; or if you ALWAYS have quiet evenings at home, try to plan one fun evening out this week.

  • Do you have any fruit or veggies in the house that will be going bad soon? Slice up the fruit and eat it today, plan to use the veggies at dinner, and check your bread to see if it's moldy. While you're at it, do you need to check the expiration dates on the milk and eggs in your fridge?

  • Have some cranberry juice - it's good for prevention, if you know what I mean.

  • Need to bathe or groom any pets this week?


This time of year makes me nostalgic for my school and college years. It also makes me wish I had a little boy or girl to go back-to-school shopping with. So many cute clothes, adorable lunchboxes, and inviting notebooks waiting to be filled up!

The only thing I don't like about back-to-school shopping is that I'm not ready to think about fall yet. All the back-to-school ads I see in magazines and on TV make me start thinking about autumn and all the lovely things that come with it.
I love fall, but I am so enjoying the warmth and sunlight of summer. I love running out of the house in sandals, not worrying about grabbing a coat on the way out. I'm entertaining outdoors, and walking my dogs without freezing or getting rained on..

If you haven't done your school shopping yet, it's time to get started. Target, K-Mart, Fred Meyer, Wal-Mart, Office Depot, Staples and other office supply stores are having amazing sales right now. Just about every department store has huge clothing sales, too. It's also very crowded in the school supply aisles of all the stores right now. You might want to try going in the morning, rather than the afternoon if possible; or later at night after dinner.

Don't have children of your own, but have a tiny bit of room in your budget? Buy fun little gifts for your nieces and nephews, who are probably eagerly anticipating their return to school. Pick up little glittery pencils, tiny sets of markers at the Dollar Spot at Target, or an inexpensive set of stickers.

If you have a close friend or relative who has more than one school-age child, you can offer to babysit one of the children while the parent takes the other out shopping. I know I would have loved not having to have my little brother tag along while my mom took me back-to-school bra and panty shopping!

I usually also go "school supply" shopping for myself - I stock up my home office with fun colored pens, glittery notebooks, and pretty pink portfolios to keep my torn-out recipes in. Hopefully I can encourage myself to use my supplies to write letters and to organize my office better.

You might not particularly have time to shop today, but make a plan, get organized, take inventory of your children's clothing and existing school supplies, and check everything against the teacher's supply list.

Remember that you aren't just shopping for clothing, crayons and pencils. Your child will need a backpack if last year's is worn out or filthy; lunch box or lunch sacks; snacks for their lunches and afternoons, and breakfast cereal for the mornings. Your child may have some sports-related clothing and equipment they will need for their extracurricular activities.

Your older children may need to purchase software for their computer. Your teenagers may need a gas card, a lube job for their car, and other travel-related expenses. Your college student will need their dorm room furnished or updated. (You might want to budget in upcoming expenses so you can send them occasional surprise $10 gift cards to Starbucks, $20 gift cards to Barnes & Noble, movie theater certificates, etc.)

Does your child need a haircut before school starts? With enough time for the "new haircut" look to go away? What other appointments do you need to make while it's still summer and your child's time is more flexible. Doctor appointments? Vaccinations? Dentist visits?

If you don't have children, use today's project time to organize your home office or computer area.

LOVELY WEBSITES: The Art of Manliness

"Reviving the lost art of manliness." A couple men of my acquaintance are really enjoying this website, where they can learn manly skills like Tarzan's climbing, how to cook around a campfire, and how to negotiate for a used car. There are tips on health and sports, dress and grooming, relationships and family. Even though I'm a girl, I'm enjoying looking through some of the articles here.

LOVELY MOVIES: The Kings of Pastry

A documentary about professional pastry chefs preparing for a contest. While most people might think this sounds gruelingly boring, I'm fascinated and eager to see it!

The Kings of Pastry Trailer, at Apple


The Allure and Adventure of Solo Travel (CNN)

Eat, Pray, Spritz: Food Stylist Susan Spungen (NY Times)

Follow the Bees to the Sweetest Fruit (NY Times)

Save Money on Back-to-School Shopping (Stay at Home Moms)

School Success (

Summer Preserves: Pickled Vegetables (Food & Wine Magazine)

Summer Reading for the Food Obsessed (CHOW)


Krickie said...

I love autumn and I am more than ready for summer to be over, so the beginning of the back-to-school rush always makes me happy.

I also love shopping for school supplies, but since I don't have any children (or nieces/nephews), I let myself have fun buying school supplies and then donate them to a local charity who has a "Stuff the Bus" drive each fall to gather and distribute supplies to our local in-need families. It's a great way to indulge in something I like to do while helping others in the process :)

Cara said...

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love to get the teacher supply list and visit all of the stores to find the best deal. My little ones are just in preschool, so I stalk up on extra supplies for home activities.