Back-to-School Shopping: A Day in the Life Sunday

As the Sunday papers expand with back-to-school ads, I begin to plan for school shopping now as I flashed back to my own school shopping days.

We had a school shopping day where we headed out to make the rounds and we likely didn't stop until the last item was in the bag. There were the necessary items we picked up from Genovese drug store like notebooks, pens and a pencil or two (I don't remember having the long lists the kids have now) . . . and then there were the clothes.

One of 3 kids from a single parent home, we had food on the table, a roof over our head and there was not room for extras and one school shopping day, that's where the needs and wants of a teenage girl clashed.

Raise your hand if you remember selecting your designer jeans by the stitching on the pockets. Raise it higher if you were glued to the TV whenever the New York Rangers danced to Ooh la La Sassoon.

While the car was headed for the Long Island discount stores, the pull of the Jordache Look was too much for this girl to resist - even if it meant blowing the budget on 2 pairs of designer jeans when I could have had 5 others with cash to spare.

I don't remember what our back-to-school budget was then but I know it was more than just a bit shy of the $500 sixty-three percent of consumers plan to spend up to on back-to-school today. Take a look at this Back to School 2012 infographic shared by David Erickson at e-Strategy Trends.

I need your help. I have been rather fortunate that I've been able to get by with buying most of the kid's clothes for her in the past but with some of the items I purchased last year still hanging in the closet - unworn - that has come to an end.

Any tips for shopping with tween who has a mind of her own and and no money to go with it?

A Day In The Life Sunday: No Nice and Easy For Me

My husband and I are absurd savers of money.

Truth be told, I get nausea when I spend chunks of cash. Even though we are virtually debt free, we've ramped up our quest to keep our money close to home in response to his job loss.

Some things have to go. So, we are:

  • Very regrettably parting ways with the cleaning lady;
  • Bundling our internet, phone, television services;
  • Switching from boutique to bulk as I say goodbye to Alice and hello to Sam;
  • Eating at home more and out less; and
  • Reevaluating home and auto insurance rates.

Some things have to stay - family vacations, hair salon color and designer frames.

We are not into deprivation so are scaling back intentionally and not without some thought. I know that this will carry us much beyond our current situation.

How do I know this?

By my own irritation at myself when I look back over the years and realize just how much money I've blown. I spent it because I had it and now, I want it back. Hmph.

If you've cut costs in your household, what made the biggest difference for you? And what was your non-negotiable? You had a non-negotiable, didn't you? I do.

There is simply no Nice and Easy for me.