It used to be a simple list: #2 pencils, Crayola markers and a pencil box. Now, the list continues, with more and more supplies that schools used to purchase. Dry erase markers, Kleenex, and anti biotic wipes? As a parent, I’m afraid to look at school supply receipts; did you know the average spend for school supplies with K-12 students is now $688? Yikes.
Last year I made a promise to never again wait until the last minute to shop for back to school supplies. The 2011 nightmare started with one naïve mother of a 1st grader who had a crazy idea that school shopping would be fun. The story ended with frustration…plus, a blue “Friday Folder” instead of black one and off-brand markers instead of the requested 12-pack of Crayolas.
Fast forward to early summer, 2012. Social media saved me from back to school insanity. The discount stores and my friends started posting on Facebook that school supplies already hit the store shelves. Not wanting to be the last minute shopper this year, I decided it would be a great task for my husband and kids to do together! He came home sweating, surprised by the cost…and all of the supplies crossed off the list.
Back to school online purchases this year included a backpack and a pair of running pants. I’m not alone — a whopping 39.6% of back to school purchases are made online now, up dramatically from 10.9% in 2003.
I have a few online lessons for next year though. The backpack purchase was last minute – it had to be a one-strap backpack with neon colors. The outrageous shipping almost doubled the price. As for the running pants, I thought they came with a jacket. Oops. Online purchases are not without a few hiccups, right?
Did I buy enough new clothes for my child? Are 12 glue sticks going to last him the year? Will he think his backpack is still “cool” in April? And speaking of cool, will he be warm enough without a matching jacket to his running pants?
School has started, and my son made it through his first day. The back to school madness is over and, thanks to social media, was much less painful this year. Hello, holiday season. I trust social media will also let me know when I should start my present shopping!
P.S. Do you know of a school or teacher that could use $100 worth of art supplies? d.trio loves to support the arts, including budding artists. We are giving $100 in art supplies this month! Tell us about a worthy school or teacher on our Facebook page, facebook.com/dtrio or use hashtag #dtriolovesart on Twitter this month, and they could win $100 in supplies!