It is “that” time of year again! School is a few weeks away and the stores have been serenading us for weeks with their flashy back to school ads and displays! 

picture from weekly Target ad
The  truth is …. They are catchy and there are some pretty neat items in snazzy patterns! BUT, do we really need all that they say we do! 

I have learned over the past 11 years that we often have plenty left from the previous year that can be used to start the next! Often scissors, pencil boxes, rulers, crayons, and markers have lots of life left. Backpacks, if a decent one is invested in, can last A LONG TIME! 

The hardest part is convincing kids that they don’t NEED new things until the old have run out. 

That being said, at the beginning of August I do invest in a generous supply of glue, notebooks, pencils, markers and crayons. Why? Why do so if our things are still good? Simply because it only makes sense for my pocketbook. 10 cent notebooks and glue for 25 cents and markers for 50 cents means a lot of savings later on. Plus, we tend to use them at home too. It also means that when my kids or their classmates have a need for supplies, I don’t have to find a time to drive 55 miles to purchase them.

So onto my second and last groan and moan…. Gym shoes! Whose idea was it to make soles of tennis shoes of FOAM and why? I get that foam makes them soft and light weight, but offer no support and my kids wear through them in about 2 weeks! We are taking kids- moving- active beings! The cost hasn’t gone down – $20-$30 for a layer of foam with laces😆 and I get ill thinking about paying $60 or more for a elementary kids’ shoes!  It has to be all marketing- sell more because they don’t last or force them to buy expensive ones that often get replaced because feet grow. 

Back to school is a fun time! It provides some interesting opportunities to see how kids see things, help them with consumerism- comparing products and prices, time to help guide them through needs and wants, insight into their “organizing”style, and time together. If only the stores would market in need vs want, sell quality for a fair price, and highlight the family focused non- material things that can be gained during his time of preparation and transition, they would top their sales by selling insight and experience and not carts of chaos!