School shopping

School shopping can be fun and stressful at the same time.  Trying to figure out how to get clothes, shoes and supplies for five children when you live on a tight budget is not easy. Fortunately I have learned that it’s do-able. We divide the kids up by week and give the older ones budgets of $100, that’s not enough you say?!

I myself am a bargain hunter or savvy shopper as I like to call myself. Over the last few years I have gotten better at saving money and have tried to pass on my savings smarts to my children. They are never too young to learn the value of a dollar as I like to say. I’ve wondered if my techniques have worked or if I have been successful at helping them understand that sometimes less is better and I have had the pleasure of seeing my three oldest in action this summer and I have to say, I am impressed!

Last weekend just in-time for their first day of high school we hit the mall with Emily the freshman and Arturo the junior. While I wished I could give them unlimited funds to allow them to get their hearts desire they each had their $100 cap for clothes. Though each had a little extra of their own funds like birthday monies overall they stuck to their budgets and got the most for their dollar. Tax free days coincided with our shopping trip which made it just a little easier for them. Emily walked away with a new pair of converse and about fourteen other articles of clothing, yeah I was super impressed. The best part was when she made it a point to tell me “mom, I paid attention to everything you taught me”.  Validation that I’m doing something right and her smile, priceless! Arturo went off with his dad and by the time we caught up they were done. My husband was his shopping coach and he also seemed to pick up on my saving instruction, again I was impressed. JCPenny is our favorite store. Not only can you find awesome deals but the clothes are good quality!

This weekend we took Gabriel the sixth grader shopping and he also did great. I’m learning to give them their freedom and let them pick the clothes that they want to wear, it’s not easy but I am trying to give them the space they need to grow. Let’s just say he walked away really happy and me, well I’m very proud.

Next week it’s Elyas and Ariana who need clothes, shoes and supplies. Thank goodness they are only six and seven years old so I get to pick out their clothes (well, most of it) and then we are done with it all! Thank goodness it’s almost done and again I am grateful to be able to provide them with their necessities and at the same time watch them enjoy their shopping spree’s and excitement for all the new stuff they get. It’s the simple things in life that make it all worth while.

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