SHOPPING...Back to School Style!

It's Back to School time!

& SMART Shopping Time!

My kids will be back in school the first week of August.
We are on a modified calendar here,
I LOVE this!!

Two weeks off in October, December & March...
then eight weeks off in the summer.

LOVE, love, love!

My kids wear uniforms to school, polo shirts in any color...logo no bigger than a credit card, bottoms in navy, khaki or black...easy as pie!

However, getting the best deals & saving money takes time...
you can spend a fortune if you're not careful! 

Let's talk about the basics today...

Polos, Khakis & Shoes...oh, my!

I've learned it's worth it to spend a little bit more on certain brands. 

Sure you can pick up polo shirts at Walmart, Target & even grab cheap steals on them at Old Navy, but unless I hang everything to air dry (um, & I'm not) these brands just do not hold up with my kids!


My kids pick Abercrombie or Hollister.

Sounds "hotty, totty, snotty" (ahem) right? ;)

I used to buy mainly Lands End polos, they are fantastic quality...
but now it's just easier to buy what my older kids ask for 
(just not at full price).

I didn't love these stores at first,
scratch that...
I HATED this at first!

Both of those stores are dark & LOUD...
& my nose is so sensitive to smell 
(ears don't work, but nose can smell a fire three miles away)...
I need a gas mask to shop there! 

My solution...
don't even go in there...ha!

I shop online & get great deals ALL the time!

Right now at Abercrombie Kids they're offering 50% off redlines AND Free shipping on orders over $100.   
You can get polos for $12.45 in the Clearance section right now! 

Seriously, I have seen USED polos selling for more than that on ebay!

& I've put this brand to the test...

Big O wore a set of them for TWO FULL SCHOOL YEARS
Miss O then wore them for a full school year (& then some sweet child made fun of her for wearing boys shirts...the end) 
& I just passed them to my neighbor so that HER SON could wear them...
they are showing wash wear now, but still get the job done...
OUTSTANDING quality (& they come in FAB colors too)!

(Miss O in Old Navy, Big O in Abercrombie, E in Ralph Lauren from TJMaxx)

I'm pretty sure Abercrombie & Hollister are owned by the same people, their quality is equally exceptional...but I have found the bulk of my best deals at Hollister for Big O (who is wearing mens LARGE shirts & sz 32 waist short, AND sz 13.5 shoes now...BIG O indeedy)!! 

For Miss O this year, I decided to give Aeropostale a try. 
They have girls polos in their clearance section for $5.99!
And SHORTS for $15.00.

I bought every color they had in her size...

Aero also has a great little kid section too (PS from Aeropostale). This shop is a Big Crumbs vendor (the big version of Aero is not, yet...I'll keep watching for it). If you become a Big Crumbs shopper you will receive a percentage of your purchase back...this is an AWESOME, awesome site (tons of great stores)...I'll have to blog more about them another time.


For Big O, his favorite is Hollister Cargo shorts...
These are $18 right now in the Sale section,
quality that cannot be beaten...
I LOVE these NO IRON needed, awesome shorts! 

For Miss O, I get Justice brand uniform shorts.

She is thick in the middle, so most regular sizes just do not fit her in the waist.  The half size at Justice is PERFECT!  These ended up being $17.84 ater I used the 40% off code (784) at checkout.

I've also had good luck finding bottoms for her at JCPenny, but haven't been impressed at ALL with their quality for the money...tisk.

For Sneaky E...he is notorious for wearing a polo with a popped collar, so school uniform season is a dream come true for this child!  

I found some great deals on ebay for him on Ralph Lauren brand polos and snagged some cheap ones at Old Navy when they were $7 last month. Kindergarten & first grade boys rarely come through with hand me downs from school...Big O was the worst ever about cutting holes in his clothes...I've braced myself for the storm! ;)

I did grab some fun cargos for him at Gap Kids for $12.99 (they must be gone, I'm not seeing them on there anymore). 

Really more than anything he was needing new socks & underwear for school!


Oh, I hate shoe shopping with children!
I would rather head to the office & demand a double root canal!

For the past few years I have shopped exclusively from Zappos for my kids shoes...if they don't sell it there, too bad for you. ;)

Zappos offers FREE,
next day shipping 
AND simple, painless FREE returns! 

I love them to the moon & back!!!

This year Miss O's friends are all the sudden COACH crazy.
She has begged & begged for a bag, so for her birthday she got a tiny little cross body bag...

she is serious business about that bag,
don't even breathe on it!! ;)
(& psst...Coach is a Big Crumbs vendor too) ;)

She informed me that all her friends were carrying COACH backpacks to school this year...I told her she'd better get to cracking on her chores so she could make herself some money....

COACH backpack my eye! 

I did give in & buy her some COACH brand tennies (she needed new shoes, they were on clearance for $50, we wear the same shoe size...whoops)...

Watch out from Mama sassing around in those girls! ;)

Big O hasn't made up his mind whats shoes he wants yet...
seriously...size 13.5 this year...that child is too big for his britches!!

Sneaky E loves Adidas...that's his "go to brand"! Ha
(he is so fashion conscious, he cracks me up).

I snagged these for him on Zappos last week for $34, 

they were on my porch the following morning.

Can't beat that with a stick! 

Adidas Kids quality is fantastic, I've been very pleased with every pair we've ever had (can't say the same for New Balance, those shoes, but my boys kill them every time).

These are also great shoes for little guys...
Keen Sandals...that run like an athletic shoe!
A little pricey ($39-$45), but worth every penny

(& will resell on ebay nicely when they're too small, yep).

That's about all I buy other than backpacks & school supplies.  This year E wanted a ROLLING backpack & I was able to snag a Nike version in his favorite color from Macys for a great deal (Macy's, also Big Crumbs).  Both the O's needed new backpacks, so I ordered them from Under Armor (ahem, Big Crumbs again...earned $12.08 back on that one purchase, I might add).

What about you guys?

Any good sites or deals to share?
I love to find a good deal, don't you!

Now that we've got our school goodness gathered,
it's time to get our house ORGANIZED for homework & papers!!!

Come back, we'll chat! ;)

Happy Back to School Shopping, Friends!