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Back-to-School Clothes Shopping: Online vs. (Standing) In Line

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Are you kidding me? School starts in less than two weeks! There’s no time for back-to-school clothes shopping! We just got back from a huge family vacation, before-school activities have already begun (marching band anyone?), and there are about a million things on my mom-plate trumping a long drive over the mountain to find the mall. And please, I have no love of school clothes shopping in the first place!

In case I seem like a terrible mother, don’t worry; we’ve already purchased all the items on each kid’s school supply list. I love shopping for crisp clean notebooks, new pencils to sharpen, and pink erasers—which they will lose in the first week.

I’m all over the über-sales in July and August for 5-cent copy paper. I’ll even make an extra stop at a random shop that has Sharpie pens on sale (I am a Sharpie junkie, people!).

Then why, you may wonder, is it so hard to get out there and shop for school clothes in a timely manner? I’ll tell you why it’s hard: The crowds. The parking. Oh and that little thing… MONEY. 

So, this late in the shopping game, we’ve decided 4 things:

1. We are NOT traveling any more this month (especially not for shopping), not even just over the mountain. And when you live in a small town with very few stores to choose from, that means you turn to the Internet to help you out.

2. We are not purchasing multiple outfits and overdoing the clothes closet right now. Maybe a first day of school outfit and a couple pairs of jeans without holes in them! 

3. We are NOT paying for shipping. This may mean we will have to pool our efforts with another household of teens and tweens to save on shipping (Usually $50-100 = free shipping), and locating free (or nearly free) shipping sites.

4. We will hope for after-school-starts-sales in mid-September and go shopping when we aren’t so overwhelmed from the summer travel (and heat!). Of course all the school activities will be in full swing so don’t quote me on that if we don’t make it happen. (Did I mention the teen is doing flags this year in marching band?)

I was feeling bad that my little boy is the only one who hasn’t really gotten new sneakers in the last few months. And I told him we would go find him new shoes at least (no way am I shopping online for shoes!). He looked up at me and said, “Nah, I don’t need new shoes right now; mine are fine.”

Spoken like a true 8 year old, who possibly hates shopping for school clothes more than I do!


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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?