Reese: Back to school shopping, only 28 miles on the car! - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

EV Moms Reese: Back to school shopping, only 28 miles on the car!

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Michelle Reese covers education for the Tribune and blogs about motherhood and family issues at Contact her at

Michelle Reese covered education for the Tribune, also blogging about motherhood and family issues at

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 9:04 am | Updated: 3:34 pm, Tue Aug 20, 2013.

It’s that time of year! Armed with two teacher lists from my kids’ school and two daughters (my son was at a birthday party), I hit the stores last week for some supply shopping.

I’ll be the first to confess that I don’t shop the ads very well. But since I was already looking for a few non-school items (totes to organize the house and a birthday gift), I ended up purchasing pencils, Crayons and folders at one store and paper, highlighters, paper towels and cleaning wipes at others.

Oh, and I’ve already made returns.

Does that end up saving me money in the end with gas being over $3.50 a gallon right now? I have no idea. But the job got done and I don’t think I did too bad.

I even made one online purchase this year (iPad headsets) because I did look at the cost of those in the store.

Maybe I’m becoming more shopping savvy than I thought.

So what did my kids have to have this year? Much of the usual with notebooks (17 cents), pencil boxes ($1), pencils ($6), dry erase makers ($3.40), permanent markers (50 cents), colored markers ($1), folders (15 cents for paper ones/50 cents for plastic ones), tissues (bought in bulk), glue ($1.50 for package of five) and those cleaning supplies. Plus they needed paper (1 cent for one white ream after rebate/$3.46 for a small package of colored paper), composition books ($1) and binders (two sizes — about $2 each).

Now double all that because I have two kids.

We marked some of it with their names, but much of it went into the “community” bags we made for their classrooms. And I know the teachers appreciate that help.

The bottom-line price tag is a bit hard to calculate since I bought paper towels and cleaning wipes in bulk and kept some for the house. But if I add in my son’s new glasses (he broke his old pair earlier this month) and new shoes (because his feet are now bigger than mine), it was well over $300 for the two of them.

Only my daughter needed a new backpack this year. And while my son’s feet are growing, the rest of him hasn’t changed much so I didn’t need to get him any new clothes – yet.

Still, there’s something fun about gathering all the goodies requested by teachers and organizing it to take to school.

At least, for mom it’s fun.

For them it’s just another sign that their mostly care-free summer is coming to an end and homework will soon replace afternoons spent in their aunt’s pool.

Wait, maybe I’m not ready for that either!

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