What to expect when you go Back to School Shopping for supplies

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Ah the day is finally arriving.  My kids are going back to school.  Yes, I am that mom that is jumping for joy.  In fact, mine go back tomorrow.  All three of my kids are going to school this year!  I know it will hit me hard after a few weeks.  I haven’t been alone everyday for 14 years and I enjoyed this Summer with them even though the weather kept us indoors most days.

Anyway, our school supply shopping has been done.  Obviously.  It’s the kind of shopping that I totally despise.  We always do it in parts.  One trip – supplies.  The next trip – new shoes.  The third trip – school clothes.  We normally wait until a couple weeks after school starts for school clothes because they are usually still wearing shorts at the beginning and I only buy fall/winter clothes for school.

So what should you expect when shopping for school supplies?  The list below is based off our most recent supply shopping – enjoy!

1.  Make sure you have each child’s school supply list.  Yes, the long list with many supplies that may or may not have a small quantity or a rather large quantity.  And most of the items are normally brand specific.  Annoying I know.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the specific list.  I get it.  Teachers need help and I certainly understand the need/want for specific brands.  Lets face it.  Certain brands are just better quality than others.

2.  Sales.  Well, forget finding sales.  I mean, you may come across some deals but for the most part, you probably aren’t.  You also have a specific list.  Get in and get out.  If you are lucky you will be there without having a swarm of other parents going just as crazy as you are.  But I will point out that if you do see a sale or an item marked off, it’s going to be that lonely brand that isn’t found on anyone’s list. 

3.  Take your husband with you.  Yeah, put him to work!  Give him one of the lists while you have the other.  You will get done quicker.  Well, maybe but it’s worth a shot.

4.  You will be going in circles.  It’s pretty much guaranteed to happen.  You will be in an aisle looking for paper and the next thing on your list are pens.  So you then go around to find these blue or black pens to see the next thing on your list are folders which was where you were previously picking up some loose leaf paper.  Back you go.  Wear your tennis/running shoes for comfort.  You may actually get a pretty good workout.

5.  As you are circling back and you happen to run into your husband you thought you lost, give him a high five on the way past.  Might as well try to make it fun.

6.  The quantities.  You will quickly become aware that you are not going to find the exact quantity.  You need 24 no.2 pencils (made in the USA).  After sifting through all these packs of non USA pencils, you finally find a pack of 30.  Oh well, some extra pencils never hurt anyone.  You need 10 glue sticks but you only see packs of 6 so you have to buy two packs of them.  Now you have a couple extra glue sticks.  You can make a craft later.  But then you realize you might want to use glitter and that isn’t found with the school supplies and you want to get in and get out.

7.  More circling.  High five your husband again.  He’s taking it like a champ!

8.  You start to have doubts that those 3 prong folders exist.  On top of that you need a red, blue, and a green one.  After about 20 minutes of opening folders, you decide to move on and come back to that later.

9.  You will make friends.  With all that circling you are bound to keep running into other parents and then you start talking about the supply lists and asking each other where certain things are.  And by that time, you are both geniuses and know exactly where everything is at that point.  You have seen it enough with all the circling.

10.  Why can’t I ever find an 8oz bottle of Elmer’s glue?  It’s always 7.5oz.  Oh well, close enough. 

11.  Walking along another aisle for wide ruled spiraled notebooks and you happen to glance down and see one small box of pocket folders out of place.  You hold you breath and hope.  There’s blue, there’s a red but no green.  Bummer.  But then in the very back you notice a single green one stuck among some yellow ones.  And they are 3 prong folders!  Point is, keep an eye out for misplaced supplies.  Oh and make sure you practice your “happy dance” at home because if you mess it up, you will just look….weird.

12.  After you have all the pens, paper, crayons, markers, annoying folders, etc. you can finally make your way across the store to grab some tissues, paper towels, sandwich baggies and disinfectant wipes.  Now you are ready to go grab Starbucks.  After your kids pick out their new backpacks and lunchboxes of course.

Then you are finally done…..

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