Friday, August 13, 2010

back to school shopping

For some reason, I typed this post last week, and it didn't publish. Hmmm... Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled blogging...

We are going on vacation (to the beach...yay!!!) next week, so this week I had to get all our 'back to school' shopping done because, due to some poor planning on our part, the boys start school the day after we get home. While I felt I did well with getting good deals, can I just say what a harrowing experience taking mixed gendered children shopping for both clothing and school supplies is? Not to mention the near heart attack I had at the amount of money it cost! And this wasn't like 'lets-get-everyone-new-wardrobe!' kind of shopping. I made the kids go and actually try on jeans from the winter bins and see what shirts they had that still fit, etc. before we headed out. This wasn't a spree, this was more like a 'make-sure-everyone-has-socks-underwear-and- jeans-that-aren't-floods' kind of necessity shopping. And we still nearly broke the bank! Though the boys are each about 2 years apart, the older 2 are currently wearing the same size jeans (which means no hand-me downs for the middle one), and til boy number 3 gets them, they look like they've been through a war! So, we made sure each boy has at least 2 pairs of jeans and one pair of sports pants for gym and intramural days. I think they probably both have another pair or 2 of old jeans. I'll plan on doing lots of laundry and hopefully that will be enough to hold us until Christmas. I left them pick one or two shirts from the clearance rack ('cuz I'm generous like that), and gave thanks that my kids are happy as clams to wear short sleeves year-round. (Unlike their mother, that's for sure! I need multiple layers from October through May!)

During the first day of shopping (yes, this was a multiple-day affair) there was one point in Target where we were standing in the middle of the school supplies section and they are all 4 talking at me simultaneously!! I put both hands up and just said "Stop!! One at a time!! Now, you...what are you saying?"

I must say though, today was the highlight of the school shopping season. I agreed to "at leeeeast check!" (imagine teenage begging voice) at Aeropostle in the mall to see if there were any sales. Of course, I ran through my whole spiel about how "half-price doesn't matter if the original price is way out of our budget", printed off a 30% off-the-total coupon online and headed out, steeling myself to stand firm against the pleading, resolved to not overpay... When we arrived, we found some 70% off clearance racks, and to our glee we found some shirts marked $3.99. Seriously, 70% off of $3.99? And then another 30% off that?? It seemed too good to be true. And it was. When I asked the sales girl, she was rather mortified to find the shirts that were SUPPOSED to be $23.99 were mismarked. She said if that was what I wanted, they would honor that price for me since they were marked that way. (I should have grabbed 2 of each right then and there!) We said OK, but unwisely took our time decided and browsed a bit more, not realizing she was quickly grabbing them off the rack in the meantime to make the correction. However, there were 2 that Kate snagged, and our total price for those 2 shirts? 84 cents each!!! Woo hoo!! Now THAT is my idea of a bargain! We got a few other good deals in there as well, and after she told me my 30% off coupon was good all weekend, we made a second stop back there to pick up a few birthday gifts as well.

Overall assessment of this year's back to school shopping....good deals but still very costly to set up 4 kiddos for school, basically decently behaved children considering the amount of time spent in stores...and still one tired and frazzled Mama who now desperately needs a quiet date night with Daddy!

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