By Kendell Shaffer
One of my favorite childhood memories was going to S.S. Kresge Five and Dime for school supplies after the first day of school. The neighborhood kids would pile into a station wagon and one of the moms would take us all. I loved choosing a fresh pencil box and new oil cloth that would fit over my desk for art class.
When my kids were of school age I looked forward to picking out school supplies with them, but it was never the same. Instead of a five and dime, we headed off to Staples. The generic office supply store did not offer any charm or fun. I wanted a fun back-to-school ritual, so the day before school started we began heading to The Grove, an outdoor shopping mall in Los Angeles. There we’d check out American Girl Place, eat Sprinkles cupcakes and pick out first day of school outfits. This fun lasted up until my son started high school. Suddenly he didn’t want to spend his last day of summer with me and his sister. He now hated the idea of shopping for new school clothes and the American Girl Store. Online shopping was the only kind of shopping he’d do now. Sigh.
This year we will order school supplies from shoplet.com. They have sections for elementary, middle school, high school and college. Prices are reasonable and they offer free shipping on orders over $35.
My daughter starts college at the end of September, so we are starting to order her dorm and school supplies. I’ve found that dormify.com has the most stylish decor of all the dorm supply sites and she has been happy with their choices. Ikea.com also has a college section as does, universityhousewares.com. Bed, Bath and Beyond offers a cool service, where you order at their store and they ship the items directly to your child’s college or you can pick up the order at a store near the college. This is a great option for students traveling across the country.
So, goodbye to the days of oil cloths and pencil boxes, hello to the days of shopping cart icons and free shipping!