When You Hate School-Supply Shopping

I hate shopping for school supplies. I hate picking out all the notebooks. I hate it, I do, I do.

For the past few years, I’ve taken my sons. They hate it, too. This year, I left my eldest home, and my middle son was traveling on a bus home from camp (he’s now back), so I took my daughter. She didn’t seem to mind it that much, though when I asked if she wanted to look at skirts, she clearly just wanted to get out of the store.

Since we were close to my favorite plant nursery, Livingston Park Nursery on How Lane near Livingston Avenue in North Brunswick, we rewarded ourselves by going plant shopping. And taking photographs.
smile with bushes behind
One of the reasons my daughter is happy is I bought her that purple costume she is wearing, a belated birthday present. Among my plant purchases were two of those little evergreen bushes behind her. Hopefully, we’ll have something green in our backyard in the dead of winter.

This is how the nursery looks:

I could have held unto this one until next Tuesday, so I could post it for Ruby Tuesday, a fun photography meme in which you post a photo that has red, but I like it too much to wait:

Finally, one good purpose for going to nurseries is that you find out the names of the plants that you already own. I don’t think I will forget Andromeda now:

On the other hand, I’ve already forgotten the name of the tall purple perennial I planted in my backyard. Is it loosestrife? lobelia? salvia? penstemmon? If it lives through September, I’ll take a photo of it and post it with a “please identify”.

How do you deal with school-supply season?

14 thoughts on “When You Hate School-Supply Shopping

  • I always enjoy school supply shopping, as I always enjoyed the first day of school. I like the newness of everything, the idea of starting over. I’ve been busy with it here in Israel and am enjoying as well.

    Of course, I sent my sister on a Target run. You can’t beat $.89 for a box of Crayola Markers.

  • Teens can do their own. Or do like Baila, and find another mother to do it (unless she tends toward extravagance). I don’t mind this chore, but hate most shopping so I can sympathize.

  • I am not to keen on buying school supplies either; I still haven’t done it for this year. I guess it’s because I don’t like wasting time finding the right stuff.
    However, like Baila, I like the idea of starting things all over again. I suppose that’s why I enjoy Rosh Hashanah so much.

  • Mother in Israel, in New Jersey, unfortunately, unless you want to pay triple the price, you have to drive to do school supply shopping. So that means it’s Mom doing the driving. Sigh. Actually, my teen was by far the easiest, as he is starting high school, and he doesn’t have one of these lists in tiny print with many obscure little items. I just bought him two large notebooks, some pencils, and some pens. He’ll find out what he needs when he gets there. He thinks he needs a laptop. I’m not so sure.
    Baila, you have a nice sister.
    Ilana-Davita, I like preparing for Rosh Hashanah, especially buying the “simanim” (pomegranate if they have, carrot, beet, celery for a raise in salary, etc.).

  • I understand that, but can’t you drop him off and go somewhere else for a while? But you’re correct that elem school is much harder. I put my daughter (14) in charge of checking stock and making the list.

  • Mother in Israel, does your daughter want a job next summer? I’ll pay her. But I don’t think I could afford the flight money, that she’d have to come up with on her own.

  • what a cutie. i got lucky – our pta runs a fundraiser in which you write one check for something like $40 and supposedly (this is the first year i’ve done it, so i don’t have proof) they just deliver a box of the appropriate school supplies to your kid’s classroom on the first day. neat, huh? saves time and stress.

  • mom2my9, thanks for commenting on the plant nursery… I really enjoy that so much more than talking school supplies.
    phyllis, wow, for $40 I would save money and time. But your kids are younger than my 11 year old– my 6th grader needs an obnoxious number of items for a multiple of teachers. I’m sure I missed something. I’m trying not to care.

  • I also hate school shopping… but while we were in the Old Country the kids picked out wheelie backpacks, and they were so thrilled, they walked around the house wheeling those things along, nonstop, for the next three days.

    As for the nursery, I sure miss it during Shmitta. Enjoy, while we wait over here for Rosh haShanna…


  • ALN, I’m wondering if I should send my cousins pretty flower seeds as part of a thank-you package. I figure they will get them after R”H.

  • No reason not to. Last July someone gave me some seeds as a TY gift, and they”ll be waiting around patiently for the next few weeks.

    Alternatively, your cousins can get a jump-start by planting seeds in a flower pot or planter box with a plate underneath it, since that’s not considered mhubar l’karka (attached to the ground), therefore no shmitta problem.

    That said, there may be an agricultural problem sending seeds to Israel. The Ministry of Agriculture has been very worried about cross contamination and introducing foreign plants, etc, especially since the big almond crop pest scare a few years ago. Coming from California, I remember the days when they released really poisonous substances from helicopters to kill off the fruit flies. So you might want to think twice about sending them seeds. Maybe you could order seeds to be shipped to them from within Israel.

    At any rate, you have a very thoughtful idea.


  • ALN, maybe I should go back to my original idea of sending them some kitchen linens. As it is, I don’t think they have time to plant. On our past visit, my cousin mentioned their “gardener”; I think a neighbor has taken over caring for their plants (just watering during Shmitta). Thanks for the warning about the seeds.

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