School starts in two weeks, which means we're surrounded by meaningful messages of collecting new school supplies and backpacks for children in need and not-as-meaningful messages of "stock up now" on fabulous new clothes for fall.
And this year, I'm stuck in the middle of it all.
Sooner than I care to admit, my daughter will be taking her first steps to kindergarten. And while we wrestled with the idea - and ultimately settled on - sending her to private school, the reality of school life is just settling in.
Like just how many school supplies and uniforms a girl needs to get through.
Now, I'll be honest in that we're extremely frugal and survivalist green at this point in our lives. So since we made the decision on where to send her to school, I've been consciously scouring resale shops for anything that could meet the Catholic school test.
And I beat expectations. This spring, I landed a stack of shirts, shorts and pants at a fundraising sale for 50 cents each. Aside of a little wear in the knees, they're likely last us through at least this size, given how fast my little weed is growing.
The lunch box? Scored at the used kids store, happily, for a buck. For one dollar, we get a Hannah Montanna lunch box that even if we use just a few times, I won't be upset.
The backpack? A nearly new Tinkerbell backpack, found at another resale shop last weekend. Sure, it can technically hold an Mp3 player, but I've got her convinced one pocket is for her hairbrush and another for her crayons.
In fact, the only "new" items we have for school so far are socks and the classroom supplies, and it's tough to fake a secondhand box of Kleenex.
So yes, shoes aside, I did the math the other day. $1.45 a day for back-to-school duds.
The green and broke side of me applauds it. But the mommy in me wonders, shouldn't my child deserve "better" for school? A new outfit? Something? In a world where we tout new, new, new for fall, is there something just off when the only new thing is on her feet - and that's just because she grew?
So today, my question is this: How are you handling the back-to-school crush? Are you stocking up at the sales, biding your time, analyzing what's in your closet first? Or are you happily saving green at resale stores and garage sales, your children none the wiser?