Tag Archives: shopping

Lazy or Efficient?

I hate shopping. I’ve said it before and anyone who’s gone shopping with me knows it all too well.

So now that Em is changing schools and moving up to the upper-grader world, I had a TON of shopping to do to prepare her for G.A.T.E. in the 4th grade: school uniforms and classroom/school supplies. As soon as I knew Em was accepted into G.A.T.E., I did some research and found that Walmart has a section on their website that will tell you what colors your school has deemed appropriate to wear. So with the exception of a couple items (which I found at Target’s website), I had all of Em’s school uniforms for the next year ordered; they’ve been in her room for weeks, waiting for Em to return from her dad’s house.

Earlier this week I got a call from her new school asking me to come by and pick up her registration paperwork. Included in the packet was a list of things she needs on the first day of school and things the teacher needs for the classroom. Knowing that Em returns today and school starts this coming Wednesday, and knowing our combined schedules, shopping for – and FINDING – everything we needed was going to be a challenge if not a stressful experience for me. Remember, I hate shopping.

So, I went to my beloved Amazon. I don’t know why I delayed for so long enrolling in Amazon Prime, but it was one of the best decisions I made this year. Because when you get a school supply list one week before school starts and you HATE shopping like I do, Amazon Prime quickly becomes your best friend.

  • Small Post-it Notes
  • Red pens
  • 2″ binder
  • Highlighters
  • Stapler
  • Blue Pens
  • Pencil sharpener with lid
  • Binder dividers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Scientific calculator
  • Two-pocket hole-punched folders
  • Scissors
  • 1″ binder
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Lined paper
  • Black pens
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Kleenex
  • Erasers
  • Spiral-bound notebooks
  • Printer paper
  • Pencil pouch (no boxes allowed – huh??)

Most of these items were eligible for Amazon Prime. I ordered all of them on Wednesday, it took me all of 15 minutes while I watched a Doctor Who episode. And all but 2 items will be on my doorstep before school starts Wednesday morning.

Call me lazy, but I like to think of myself as efficient. I know what stresses me out and I know how unhealthy that is for Em and me.


Sanity Tip: Amazon Wish Lists

There is a question that I dread a few times a year: What do you want for your birthday/Christmas? There are two reasons for this seemingly silly fear:

1. I feel awkward telling people what I want; I feel like I’m saying “Spend your money on me!”

2. I can never remember right at the moment what I want. I may see things while I shopping or browsing the internet, but I push them to the back of my mind and never remember them at the appropriate time

Amazon wish lists are nothing new; I’ve been using them for a long time to help me remember something I want to buy but can’t afford right now or something I don’t need until later. But what I didn’t know was that I could make multiple wish lists, choose whether I want them to be public and that I can add items from other websites!

And since my sister moved out-of-state, Christmas and birthday shopping is even more difficult because we no longer have regular conversations about things we like or we might want to get someone else.


Enter the Amazon Wish List and their “Add to Wish List” add-on for internet browsers! Available for IE, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and iPad, this little button on your browser will allow you to add any item to your Amazon Wish List! Want that movie on Amazon?tag=associatizer-20 Click the button! Falling in love with that sweater on another store’s website? Click the button! You can even add the things you covet to different wish lists. I currently have 2 public lists: 1 for things I want for Christmas and 1 for things I think my daughter would like (as it should be, my daughter’s wish list is bigger than my own).

And the best part (at least for me) is that when I go look at someone’s wish list, I can have the gifts I purchase for them go to the shipping address they’ve chosen; I don’t have to remember their address or ask them for it and make them suspect that I’m up to something! And to make sure your gifts from others are kept a suprise from you, you can edit your list settings and click a little box that says “Don’t spoil my surprises.” The item you wish for will stay on your wishlist for several weeks, but you’ll be warned against duplicate purchases if you try to buy it after someone else bought it for you!

So, go ahead! Wish all you want! Tell your friends and family! You might just thank me later!

*i was not paid for this post. the picture and links posted will take you to Amazon.com through my affiliate link

Sanity Tip: Clothes Shopping

I hate shopping. I really do. I don’t care if it’s shopping for groceries, clothing, housewares, whatever: I hate it. To me it’s a time-suck between the price-comparing and the trying-on of clothes and the do-I-really-need-this dialogue that goes on in my head. And, of course, there’s the cost factor. Shopping means spending money and usually it’s for things I need rather than things I want. I’ll admit it: I’m selfish. I’d rather spend my money on dining out, music and seeing movies. Ya know, the fun stuff!


I’m always amazed when I tell someone my method for shopping for clothes for “Em” and they respond with, “Wow, I never thought to do that! What a great idea!” Perhaps it’s because I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s second nature now, or perhaps I need to share this tip with the world to help save parents, single or married, both time and money. It’s so simple, really, I’m kinda embarrassed to even call it a tip. But here goes:


Buy clothes for your kids when they’re on clearance.


I know, I know: DUH!! But here’s where it gets a bit more, well, smart: buy the clothes in the next size UP! You may have noticed that when clothes go on sale, it’s almost always because they’re going out of season. T-shirts go on sale in mid-summer when the stores are getting ready to bring in fall styles, then the prices go back up as school starts up (to capitalize on back-to-school “sales”) and then you’ll see those same shirts on the clearance rack about a month or so after  school starts back up, right before as weather starts to cool down a bit.

I don’t know about you, but my kid goes through clothes like they’re paper towels! Shirts get stained from school art projects, jeans get holes in the knees from some game a friend made up during recess, shoe laces are worn thin and broken from staying untied all day… And of course when I need to replace them, one of two things inevitably happens: I can’t find anymore t-shirts because corporate offices of stores think that September/October is cold EVERYWHERE or the price has gone way up because they’re in demand and the stores know that I need them.

So when winter is almost up, I buy long-sleeved shirts and jeans, at the end of spring I buy dresses (sometimes I even buy an Easter dress!) and tights and when summer is drawing to a close I buy t-shirts and shorts, all in the size above where Em is wearing them now! When the sale is really good I’ll buy 2 or more of the same item; really, who cares if my kid has 2 identical solid pink t-shirts?!? I put all the clothes into a storage tub with a label of what’s inside and the size.

Genius, right?

And here’s the bonus tip: because I hate they physical act of shopping so much, I usually take it one step further: online shopping. I know what Em likes to wear, I know what she looks good in, and  I know that she’ll wear pretty much whatever I’ll buy her. So I shop online during my breaks at work and I don’t have to do it later! Of course, being a single parent, this makes it even better  because I won’t have to take Em with me to the store and have her looking at the stuff that’s not on sale, I won’t have to park in the boonies, I won’t have to wait in line to buy my wares, I won’t have to get stuck in the line where the person in front of me has picked up items that don’t have a price tag and the check-out clerk has to call for assistance. I just click, click, click, go! Plus, if I spend enough money, I get free shipping, too!

So, there you have it. My first Sanity Tip:

  • buy clothes that are on sale/clearance
  • buy clothes that are 1 size up from your child’s current size
  • buy clothes online
What are some tips that you have about shopping for your child’s clothes?