Back to School Shopping

I bet you read that and thought “Huh? It’s still SUMMERTIME. Is she NUTS?”

Well, yes, actually, I am a little nuts, but it is also getting close to that time of year… or at least for us it is. Where we live, school starts in early August, so we’re already seeing stores full of back-to-school supplies and the girls are already starting to obsess about who will be their teachers, etc.

So, naturally, I’m thinking back-to-school shopping.

And I thought I’d share with you some of my picks for this year.

  • Last year, I purchased both girls Backpacks from LL Bean – they were a bit more expensive than the local options from WalMart or Target, but well worth the purchase price as they lasted all year and they are in great shape to go another school year. I won’t be buying new backpacks, that’s for sure. The girls love these and they don’t really need new ones.


  • I also bought them lunchboxes to match – and they are not showing any signs of wear from last year’s use, so we’ll most likely reuse those as well.
    I like the fact that they have a mesh pocket outside for napkins, hand sanitizer, etc. and the lid has another mesh pocket inside that fits a drink just perfectly, leaving the entire base for your lunch goodies.image
  • Bento Boxes from Laptop Lunches.
    Doodle Bug loved having her “bento box” lunches last year – I made up my own by using a large Tupperware-type container with silicon cupcake liners inside. But the drawback was that I was challenged in keeping things separated, especially when something was liquidy (like ranch dressing to dip veggies in) and then we had a mess to deal with – either at lunch or after school. UGH.
    Not this year! These nifty boxes each seal individually and the whole case is insulated.  Additionally, they are PVC & BPA-free  and dishwasher safe!!

    So, I will probably add this to the list to purchase – at least for Doodle Bug – and see how they work out. I'll either purchase the entire kit (pictured above) or just the little containers (which is how I may start out and see how it works since I have nice lunchboxes already)

    There’s a mesh sleeve on the outside for holding a water bottle – and I plan to purchase this one –

  • The FlyLady’s stainless water bottles – I have been wanting to get them for a while now – I love that they are double-walled, have two openings (one large for adding ice, etc, one small for drinking) and the nifty colored loops to keep them identified by owner.
    Since I have been trying to justify buying them for the whole family, I figured this is the year to do it – no backpack purchases to eat up the budget, so I’ll splurge on this!

There will, of course, be the requisite purchase of thousands (it seems) of crayons, markers, pens, pencils, and the like.  The kids are still using some of the things we purchased last year, but it’s hard to pass up the sales when crayon boxes are twenty-five cents each (instead of a couple dollars as they are mid-school year) and so I usually fill the cabinet when we go shopping.

What about you? Are there any major school supply purchases you’re already contemplating?

I’m still on the hunt for a 3-ring notebook that lasts more than three months in a kid’s backpack. If you know of one, let me know!!


2 thoughts on “Back to School Shopping

  1. Ah, we haven’t even started our Summer holidays yet, Lois! Another week-and-a-half to go….
    However, DS went to his new school for 3 days last week and carried out an “information gathering” project while he was there. We now think we need to buy a new schoolbag (frustrating, since the current backpack is in great shape and well made), as DS says it is difficult to carry a backpack round school all day and their lockers are like shoe-boxes. He would like a “messenger bag” or “book bag” instead, but his current one is too small. We’ll have to go shopping for one, while I worry about back problems from carrying his entire day’s books and equipment slung from one shoulder!
    We already have the major items of uniform (nearly all UK schools wear uniform), including his blazer-jacket, rugby and football shirts, shorts and socks, tie etc. He wears black trousers and white shirts already, so we will only need to replace these when he grows too much (again!). Then there will be the inevitable shoe shopping expedition, for at least three pairs of shoes, possibly four or five – school shoes, football boots, trainers (maybe also indoor-only trainers)…
    I haven’t even begun to consider stationery requirements… But we won’t need any lunchboxes or drink bottles, so that is one less expense.
    Honestly, I think you need a small mortgage to equip kids for school these days!
    Happy shopping, Lois (and I wish L.L. Bean would open some UK branches – their stuff is fabulous quality!)


  2. My oldest has a similar situation in that she has to carry most of her things with her between classes – she started last year with a messenger bag (LL Bean) and decided mid-year that a backpack was easier on her back. Be careful, those messenger bags are bad for kids’ backs when they’re heavy. Our chiropractor was actually the one to suggest the backpack (he wanted one with wheels for her) since he said the messenger bags distribute weight disproportionately on a kid’s back/shoulders.
    I hope he likes his new school!!


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