Monday, August 6, 2012

School Supply Shopping Fun?

“Okay, so here we go,” I said, unfolding the crumpled piece of paper that I pulled out from the bottom of my purse. I really needed to clean out my purse. It currently was home to receipts, straw wrappers, change, gum, and what was that brown stuff? Oh, right. Natalie had tossed in a cookie stating she’d eat it later. Only it was crushed by all the change and was turned into a pile of crumbs.

“So we need….what is this? 12 glue sticks? Are you guys going to be gluing together a replica of the Eiffel Tower or what?” I joked.

Natalie didn’t get the joke. She just stared at me.

“Four boxes of crayons. And I like how they specified Crayola in bold,” I continued.

It was time to go back to school shopping. This would be the first year I’d have to shop for two kids in school. Kudos to the people who have to shop for more than two kids at a time because yikes, expensive.

“I like this Angry Birds folder,” Natalie said, holding it up.

“Er, you don’t need a folder,” I explained.

“I like,” Natalie repeated, teeth clenched, “this Angry Birds folder.”

“You don’t,” I mimicked, “need it.” I took it from her hand and put it back. Yes, she was insulted.

I started putting stuff into the cart. Tommy needed specific folders. And weirdly, crayons. Fifth graders still colored? I guess for art class, maybe.

I always follow the brand that is mentioned on the list. I figure teachers know what works best so I don’t always go for the cheap stuff. If they ask for Clorox wipes than Clorox wipes is what they get.

Technically I could have gone to this program they offered where they give backpacks and school supplies for free to military members—but I feel if I can afford to go out to eat and shop at Target, than I can afford to buy them myself.

“One ream copy paper. Ha, ream,” I muttered to myself. I can be so incredibly immature. But I had to do something to makes this trip fun.

“Mommy! Can I get these beautiful flower erasers?” Natalie asked, holding a package up.

“You need two pink pearl erasers. I like how they add the pearl in to make it sound fancier,” I snickered.

“I like flowers better,” Natalie pouted.

Why couldn’t Tom have the day off? Why? It would have been so easier going shopping without Natalie.

“These pink erasers are just as exciting,” I promised. “Plus, they’re your favorite color. Pink!”

Natalie dropped the flower erasers back where they belonged. “My favorite color is purple,” she sniffed, but took the pink erasers.

By the time I was finished I was poorer, crankier, and the proud owner of a Hershey’s chocolate bar.

(Hey. It was my reward! It’s not always easy to find 1 package of plastic dividers with tabs in a specific brand.)

(Or to figure out what pair of pointed scissors will work best.)

(Yes, I went for the cheapest since nothing was specified.)

(Scissors are scissors, right?)


  1. I still have to go shopping, or I should say, the husband still has to go school supply shopping. For some reason the kids prefer to go with him. Apparently, I only buy what's on the list.

  2. I thought I was the only one gasping at 12 packs of index cards (really?) and 10 packs of glue sticks (wtf?) oh and I love the bold CRAYOLA..why can't I buy the cheaper? I have 3 kids to buy for. Ha! Glad I can laugh about this with someone who understands.

  3. Well, you earned the Hershey's Bar.

    And all those Old Navy back-to-school commercials make it look so fun. ;)

  4. Colin will be in second grade this year and Cameron will be starting preschool. I thought it'd still be relatively cheap at this age so you can imagine the sticker shock when we ended up paying $100 for school supplies! This is to say nothing of the money we shelled out for school clothes and shoes. And I have two that aren't even in school yet. *cringe*

  5. last year i didn't have to but any supplies. I do not know about this year. We start next Wednesday.

  6. You have just reminded me that I have to school shop for all my children.


  7. Our school district started supplying everything except backpacks last year, so I am hoping things will be a little smoother on our end. :-)

  8. I hate school supply shopping. I get up at 5:00 AM the Saturday after orientation (which is when they finally see fit to divulge the supply lists) and head to our 24-hour Walmart. I'm finished before 7:00 AM and it's rare that I run into another shopper at the ungodly hour I choose.

    As a bonus, the kids have to be really motivated to want to come with me. And since they're still half asleep, I have a prayer of leaving with just the items on the list.

  9. Ha! My school supplies the stuff, you have to order the previous year but it was so worth seeing that box sitting on the girls desk ready and all I needed was a backpack and clothes!

  10. Bree starts school this year, so I'm a bit nervous. I haven't even gotten the supplies list yet though. I think I'm going to go off of another school in the districts list that is already posted on their site. I'm not a last minute person...but your post sounds like something that would happen with us.

  11. Seriously? In kindergarten she needed 8 EIGHT crayons. Now for 1st grade she needs 4 FOUR BOXES of TWENTY-FOUR crayons??? WTF? Really? Why? And our list does not specify which erasers, just "erasers" and DOES specify a children's Fiskars scissors.

  12. Scissors are definitely just scissors! PS- I just added you on twitter!

  13. I got the school supplies without my kids b/c I didn't want to deal with the "which notebooks do I want" debate. When really, it doesn't matter if they get the one with Mario on it or with Mario AND Luigi.

    I follow the brands, too. Except the clorox wipes. They were completely sold out so I got the lysol ones. :)

  14. Surprisingly, you'll still need crayons in middle and high school....they won't be on the list, but there will be some random project where you will need them.

    I think the teachers ask parents to buy the extras because they know that some parents can't buy anything at all for their kids.

  15. Oh, and for the record, I am doing back to school shopping for a college bound student. So in addition to all the normal stuff, I get to throw in sheets, towels, hangers, hampers and a MICROWAVE! ACK! I need to hit the lottery and I need to hit it NOW!

  16. Hehehe... my guy's still too little to be much trouble at the store, but we're not far off! :)

  17. I feel your pain! I have a middle schooler and a high schooler. I think we spent over $500 on school supplies - including a $180 calculator. I keep trying to tell myself it's a bargain since we aren't homeschooling anymore so I don't have to pay for curriculum and classes.

  18. Heh... I just buy what is on sale. And as much as I want. Being the homeschooling teacher means I get to determine that kind of stuff.

    Also? Screw the brand names. They are there because they may work better, but if you bring in a different brand, your child will STILL get taught in class. And maybe you'll luck out and not have the teacher calling you for volunteer help (because you obviously can't follow a simple instruction like CRAYOLA and not ROSE ART. :) )

  19. I buy name brand crayons and markers too. I'm a bit of a snob about my markers and crayons, but nothing works as well as Crayola. Today my boys saw Coke composition books and I let them get them even though they were more money than the plain ones because they were so excited and I'm a sucker for school supplies.

  20. That sounds like a fun trip! When did schools get so picky with everything on the list?

  21. My kids love school supply shopping. New erasers and folders! They love them whether they need them or not.

  22. I hated back to school shopping never ends they always want something that is not on the list! We just shopped for my soon to be freshman in college and it was a fortune....and guess what they still want the flower erasers at 18!

  23. We took our four kids back to school shopping on Saturday. Our highlight was when my four year old backed my 8 year old into a display. He knocked the whole hing over, was super embarrassed and started sobbing. Meanwhile, my husband ran after my 4 year old while I began clean up. It was memorable for sure!

  24. Ok, so here's the deal about Crayolas:

    The cheaper brands use more wax in their crayons (which is why they are cheaper). This is a problem because when kids are coloring, the crayon gets warmed up in their little hands. The more wax it contains, the quicker it breaks. So you end up with a bunch of broken crayons much more quickly with the cheap ones, they don't last as long.

    And that is your crayon edification for the day. You're welcome!


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