I know this sounds crazy, but every year as the school winds down for the summer (they will be done in just over two weeks) I kick it in gear planning for it to start up again. My preparation begins on the last day of school and I keep on chugging until I make it to their first day.
In fact, I found myself asking my girls to ask their band and orchestra teachers which books they will need for next year so I can order them during the summer. I also want to sew them a new outfit to wear to their concerts complete with tights and shoes. They have been sharing their current one for the past three years. They seem to run neck in neck size wise, one is just shorter. Amazing huh?
|These are fantastic.|
There will be the need for clothes, shoes and undergarments. Coats and jackets plus mittens and hats. Backpacks and lunch boxes with drink bottles, food containers and ice packs. School supplies and items for band and orchestra. Not to mention there will be fees and school pictures.
Just a little bit.
So I eat this elephant one bite at a time. I make plans and of course there is a big list. Or three.
I print off the standard school supply list from the school district website. I also print off the calendar for the next school year so I know when all of the holidays, teacher conferences, early release days, and vacations are scheduled.
On the last day of school we go through all of their leftover supplies and collect those that can be used next year. I fill in with anything left in the school supply box I keep upstairs in our linen closet. Items we still need to buy go on the list and I get them when I find them at rock bottom prices.
I find Target usually has the best prices on schools supplies making it worth the crowds and chaos. ShopKo's loss leaders are pretty good too. But I'll keep my eyes open everywhere. Last year, to my surprise, I found notebook paper the cheapest at the grocery store.
I run their backpacks through the wash, hang to dry and do any mending they might need. If they are completely worn out and need to be replaced I'll add it to the list. Such was the case for my oldest last year.
Thanks to Grandma the girls were given new lunch boxes two years ago. They are really nice ones and still in great condition. I'll run those through the wash with the backpacks. Their drink bottles and food containers will get a good scrubbing and then soaked in bleach water. Once dry I put them all in a Ziploc bag and store them until fall. If I need new bottles or containers I'll add it to the list.
Within the first few weeks of summer we go through all of their clothing and shoes to determine what to keep and what to donate. Anything that is worn out or full of holes gets repurposed or tossed. I'll update the list for clothing after that. Coats and jackets get washed as well. In the past the oldest has had plenty to pass down to her sister. However, as they are now pretty close in size it is not too likely there will be much of that this year.
Between sales and thrift stores we usually manage to get what we need for the girl's wardrobes by fall. We spend the summer working on it so we can avoid the back-to-school masses. This year we will need to be plenty resourceful too in order to get them ready and spend as little as possible.