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Back to School Tips

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Preparing the kids to go back to school can be overwhelming. Not just financially but mentally and emotionally. Just finding the time can be taxing alone.  Ever tried taking twin first graders shopping for school clothes? I have and I’m here to help you save your sanity! But before saving your sanity let me share just a snip-it of our one day shopping experience. We went to two stores, (this was after I had already placed a few orders online), Macy’s and Old Navy. We started at Macy’s both of our daughters were encouraged to leave their toys in the car; Amirah insisted on taking her American Girl Doll on her first “shopping extravaganza” and Aniyah simply refused to leave her four Disney Princesses in the car. Unfortunately before we walked into the store I already knew what that meant, either her dad or I would end up with the toys, hopefully their dad since I would be the one navigating through this shopping trip. Anyway, moving right along, as soon as we got off the escalator onto the second floor, where the kids department was, the request for cookies began to chime into the air. Those request were countered by “can we first concentrate on our mission and pick out some clothes?” At that instance all dolls were shoved into my purse and the search began; pieces were thrown me of all different sizes, seasons, and some not necessarily school appropriate. Once I calmed that down we were able to really shop. The problem I then had is that once we are finished in the toddler area that goes up to 6x we then have to go over to the size 7-16 area to shop for my other twin daughter, by this time they’ve become impatient and irritated. Amirah was only semi-concerned with giving her input, Aniyah was hiding in the clothes rack, (no matter how many times she’s asked not to) and I had sent the hubs to price check items.
We leave Macy’s, no cookies, I truly don’t want to take them to another store but I still wanted to go to Old Navy. We walk in, they are immediately over stimulated, the store is crowded, kids are running around and the line is long! We make our way to the back of the store and I spot the leggings (a hot commodity in our house), and then… I see the sale sign! I try to maintain my composure but the price has me on edge and I felt like I had just drank a triple espresso! So I try to get the team huddled up so we can plan our next move and I look around disappointed to see that I am the only one in the game! The hubs is doing something on his phone, Amirah was nagging him about something (probably the forgotten cookie) and Aniyah was looking at her dolls (yes she insisted on bringing in again!). Depleted but not defeated, I concluded that I had to carry this one into the end zone by myself. So I began picking out leggings in their sizes got about four pair before I faintly heard a whisper say “I don’t like those” and “are you going to get them anyway?” I blinked, came out of my zen, turned around, then asked, “what?” Amirah repeated she didn’t like the leggings; she pointed to the ones with the elephants on them, nor did she like the floral print; 2/4 was picked out for her. I turned to Aniyah she instantly tugged on one pair indicating she did not like the other.  My thoughts were where were you guys ten minutes ago now that only ¼ of my items remain? I shook my head and head said “fine let’s start over and get out of here”!

 

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Maybe my story and tips will help you keep some of your sanity? Here are some of the deals I found in store and online.  If you are not able to leave the kids at home, treat yourself to a nice glass of wine with dinner, it helps lol! My very time consuming trip to Old Navy yielded: 6 pair of leggings at $3.00 each
4 shirts at $3.00 each  2 gymnastics sets at $6.14 each Grand Total $42.48 Of course I felt like I could’ve gotten more at such a low price had I gone solo but luckily I placed a couple of online orders a couple of weeks prior to our shopping trip. Carter’s has amazing online sales: During their BOGO  Purchase 1 shirt get 2 free $16 Purchase 1 pair of leggings get 2 free $16 Purchase 1 pair of shoes get 1 free $40 Grand Total $72  So far we’re at a weeks worth of outfits for twins (10), shoes, and gymnastics sets for a full week for only $114.48! Add in a 12 pack of Hanes panties from target $6.49 and 7 pair of Cat & Jack pack of socks for $5.49 and your set! I also got some pretty good deals from Zulily on clothing and shoes as well from Stride Rite. School supply deals are plentiful! Toys R Us has crayons, 24 pack- 3/$1. If you purchase Up & Up school supplies from Target, in addition to their sale promo, their cartwheel app offers a 5% off coupon that can be redeemed at the registered.

 

Hopefully my tips will help you save money and a little bit of your sanity? But Let’s be honest, back to school isn’t just about all the money that will be spent on clothes and supplies, it’s also all the other little things that nag away at us. Should we send our kids to private or public school, can we afford it? Starting a new school in general can also be stressful for our children, arranging for after school care, buying school lunch versus home lunch, riding the bus versus car rider, separating twins in class rooms, what parent associations to join, should I feel guilty for not signing up to be a room parent or to be on the PTA, etc.  Sometimes there is more than one correct answer so the best thing to do is to pray and plan; with preparation all things will come together.

University of Michigan Alumni. Master's in Business Administration and Health Care Management. Currently working on a Doctoral Degree in Health Administration. Samira is happily married, living in Texas with her husband and two beautiful twin daughters.

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