The back to school countdown is on, and school-aged families across the county are scrambling to squeeze in those last visits to the beach or enjoy those last late-night popsicles. Local schools have released their supply shopping lists, and the hunt for pre-sharpened pencils, 16-count boxes of crayons and pronged plastic folders is underway. Moms will be taking to the stores to pick up supplies by the cartload, but each one has her own, distinctive shopping style. Let’s see if your technique makes the grade.
Students report back to school on Thursday, August 10. Let’s be honest, Procrastinator Moms, you’re not going to glance at that supply list until Wednesday, August 9. After all, it’s still July. There’s plenty of time to get it done and no point in spending valuable pool time roaming the office supply aisles. Your kids aren’t possibly going to be able to use all eighteen glue sticks on the very first day, anyway, are they?
“Work smart, not hard” is your motto. Sure, you might pay a little extra for the convenience, but your school is offering pre-packaged, grade-specific packs of supplies. All you have to do is fill out an order form and then you can cross “school supply shopping” off your list. You are more than happy to hand over that check because it means more time to enjoy the end of summer with your little munchkins.
The “I’m Right On Top Of That” Mom
There’s nothing quite like the smell of a freshly sharpened, #2, yellow Ticonderoga pencil, am I right? You’ve been stalking your kids’ school website since summer vacation started; ready for any excuse to hit the office supply stores. In fact, you’ve got bins for each child already labeled and filled with every item on their lists, in the exact quantity, brand, and color. Heck, you’ve even got some extras, just in case there is a need for mid-semester replacements. It’s eating at you that little Johnny can’t decide between SpiderMan and Guardians of the Galaxy because you’d really like to buy his new lunchbox and call it a day.
Thrifty moms, this is your moment; your time to shine! Since school left out in May, you’ve been scouring the internet for tips, researching for deals. You’ve located penny pencils, BOGO composition books and fifty cent crayons. You will be taking advantage of Tax-Free Weekend, rewards points and rebates. Saving is the name of your game, and this is your victory lap. Oh. Let’s not forget about the map you created to plot the most fuel-efficient route between the stores you plan to visit. It’s truly a masterpiece. You’re considering having it framed when the shopping is done (using a coupon from the local craft store, of course).
The “Living On The Edge” Mom
You aren’t one to follow instructions and lists really aren’t your thing. Your kids will go to school with supplies – they just may not match up to the designated list. Markers are markers, right? Currently, you are too overwhelmed with work and kids and domestic life to spend time agonizing over whether a plastic folder is pink or red, and at the end of the day, is it really going to make all that much difference in Suzy’s education? It’s all going to work out.
The only school supply list you really need to follow is your own, but there’s no reason you can’t take advantage of some of the special and sales. Heck, you can even take the opportunity to work in a lesson or three. Your kids can calculate the percentages of savings or price differences, or you can pick up different brands of pencils for science experiments (which brand last the longest, sharpens the best, writes most smoothly).
The Wholesale Hoarder
Four years ago, things got a little out of hand at Costco, and you haven’t had to buy a highlighter since. You admit that it can be a little tricky navigating the guest room closet, where you stashed your haul with Tetris-style precision. But it’s worth it when you think of all the time and money you’ve saved over the years. After all, at the start of each school year, you’re “shopping” in the comfort of your own home. You’re starting to run low on crayons, though, so you’re going to have to brace yourself for another shopping adventure soon. You’ve proven you’re up to the task.
So, tell us. What kind of school supply shopping mom are you?