I hate back to school time for so many reasons, the summer’s end, the return of Cranky Kids and possibly most of all, the huge wallop my wallet takes. I am lucky that my kids wear school uniforms, but that still doesn’t mean we don’t have back to school expenses that shock me every year, even when I think I am super prepared. I have learned along the way that there are a few items worth spending a bit more money on once, because it means not having to buy them again year after year.
With boys who tear through shoes and gear and a girl who can’t keep track of her things, the following three items are must-haves for this household.
Sperry Top-Siders from Stride Rite:
I mentioned my boys wreck stuff, right? Shoes are top of the list. I’m not sure if they walk all over the building dragging their toes or they poke their shoe with knives, but somehow they have managed to tear the toes out of every pair of shoes they’ve owned. That is until I bought them Sperry Top Siders. This picture is the boys’ shoes from LAST year. They look this good after an entire school year. Pretty impressive huh?
These suckers are not only indestructible, they are the only shoes my little flip-flop lovers don’t complain about in the fall! This year, we even found a velcro pair big enough for my lace-hater and stylish enough for the girl fashionista. I used to think Stride Rite was just for tiny kids, but we were psyched to find not just Sperry there, but some sweet new Saucony kicks for The Middle One and many other brands to keep all three in shoes all year long. Kids are happy and mom’s happy. Win-win.
Land’s End Backpacks:
There is nothing I hate more than buying the same things year in and year out. If there is any way to reuse, I do everything I can to make it happen. I made the mistake early on of trying to buy cheap backpacks for my kid. THe problem was, she needed a new one halfway through the year so I really wasn’t saving myself any money. When we switched to Land’s End backpacks, all that changed. They hold up year after year and they look cool enough that my kids don’t fight me when I tell them they can’t get a new one. So far, my first grade, sixth grade, high school new pack rule seems to be holding up!
Wait, I made a mistake earlier. There is one thing I hate more than buying new things and that is having to buy new things because my kid LOST the old one. Enter, Mabel’s Labels. Somehow, through some sticky magic, these labels stick on anything FOREVER. We have had labels last on water bottles through multiple summers at the beach. This seems impossible to me, but I swear it has happened. Mabel’s Labels also last through wash after wash of gym uniforms and soccer gear as well. This year, I just got a Mabel’s Labels Ultimate Back-to-School Combo with our last name and let the kids go to town sticking them everywhere. I will never buy a new sweatshirt mid-year again!
So, there you have it, three ways I try to take the sting out of back to school spending. Sometimes, it pays to spend a bit more so you don’t have to spend less more often. Sounds weird, but it works!
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