Temporary Insanity Of The Walmart Variety

School starts in less than a month in Nashville and a few moms I know have already bought their kids school supplies.

Um, that would not be me.

I had every intention of buying the ready made packets through our PTO earlier this summer (really!) but missed the deadline. Plus those packs are not exactly inexpensive, although the prospect of avoiding the checkout lines at Walmart is enough to make me want to toss blank checks out the window as I drive by our elementary school.

Last year I made the mistake of waiting until the week before school started to do our school supply shopping. By the time we got to Walmart the school supply aisles had been ransacked. I was lucky to find one box of crayons that hadn’t been stomped on. Entire sections of supplies were out of stock. We had to make additional trips to Target (which in retrospect probably should have been my first stop but I love Target passionately and can’t get out of there without jumping on the retail crazy train) and Staples just to find everything on the list.

Segue back to this weekend. On Saturday the girls and I brought the hubby lunch at his shop and I printed their school supplies list from his office.

“I think I might go to Walmart this afternoon to get their school supplies,” I told him as we were finishing up our sandwiches. Obviously July’s oppressive heat had gone straight to my brain.

“Take THEM? On a Saturday? To THAT Walmart? Are you insane?”  hubby asked.

You see our closest Walmart is one I would classify as borderline Jerry Springer scary. You never know what colorful language you will hear, what characters will have driven in from BFE, and what the checkout lines will be like. Weekends, especially, are a guaranteed hot mess of humanity. You may have somehow navigated safely through the aisles, completely avoiding confrontation, but the checkout line is another story. By this point you find yourself praying God help me get out of here alive as you clutch for dear life to your children, your shopping cart, and your sanity.

I decided to ditch the Saturday Walmart excursion craziness. Instead I’ll be heading to the Walmart near my office (aka the “nice” Walmart) one day this week at lunch all by myself for a leisurely school supply shopping experience. And if I don’t find everything on the list I will do the happy skip into Target where I may or may not need to buy myself a little something.

So have YOU bought your kids’ school supplies yet?


  1. Balisha says:

    My kids are grown…now I shop for kids in our area, who might not have nice school supplies. Our Church has a school supply drive every year at this time…so I’ll be there at Walmart right along with the young mom’s and their little kids. Is there something “new” that all the kids want this year? Balisha
    .-= Balisha´s last blog ..My Love Affair With Lilies =-.

  2. Mary says:

    Yep! All of the school supplies have been bought, properly labeled (we have to label every single crayon) and divided into baskets for each kid. All I have to do is buy some new uniform shorts and shoes for each kid. Can you tell that I am excited?!?!

    And you are correct about that Wal-mart. I have witnessed a mom throwing out the f-bomb at her very young KIDS. I go there once per year at Christmas if there is something I MUST have and cannot get somewhere else. Then I come home and scrub down!! 🙂 All school supply shopping was done in the nice, clean, quiet Target just down the road from said Wal-mart!!!!

  3. Tabor says:

    I so remember those days when every month something had to be planned for the next. Spring was filled with finding summer camps and events to fill their time. Summer was filled with birthday shopping and replacing swimsuits. End of summer the ever demanding shopping for school. I sure had a lot of energy back then!
    .-= Tabor´s last blog ..Just Asking =-.

  4. Jill R. says:

    Call me crazy, but I’m actually looking forward to our FIRST trip to buy school supplies. It helps that our list isn’t long, that this is our first child entering school, the list is very basic, and I can hand over a $20 bill to G’s teacher in August and she’ll buy the rest! It’s the sentimental thing…with a touch of the insane thing!

  5. Jamie says:

    Tabor: I wish I had more energy! 😉 Tough to keep up with my girls.

    Mary: Have you ever seen Oliver’s Labels? It’s a company out of Canada that does labels with a special lost and found code, which is really neat. They’re cute and colorful. Mabel’s Labels are also cute, but I don’t think they have that organized lost and found code system.

    Balisha: Silly Bandz are ALL the rage with kids! Some schools have banned them, though. They are fun, colorful, skinny rubber band “bracelets” for kids in different themes like ABCs, dinosaurs, ocean animals, etc.
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..Temporary Insanity Of The Walmart Variety =-.

  6. Jennifer says:

    This is Baby Girl’s first year and I want to take her with me. I was thinking about doing it the first weekend in August. I’ve noticed they are already setting out the supply bins at Target.
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..The elevator pitch =-.

  7. amie says:

    I have started back to school shopping a little here & there. Target has some excellent deals right now . However my son refuses to enter the back to school are at Target bc he says it is too early. I also bought a bunch online at Staples when I ordered office supplies for our business. I bought in bulk so I have supplies on hand for homework & replacements. we stil lhave to do the big stuff like uniforms, book bags, & shoes. Going to wait til the last minute on those in case Too Tall Jones has another growth spurt 🙂

  8. Jamie says:

    Amie, there is a Staples near my office so I can run by there if I can’t find everything. Ditto for Walgreens. I’ve noticed all the stores already have great deals so I’m going to try to knock it out this week.

    The girls have already picked out cute backpacks, excuse me MESSENGER bag for Miss C, and lunch boxes at Children’s Place. They’re having a great sale now, too. Miss C is OBSESSED with messenger bags. Must be a 3rd grader, thing. 😉

    We do school uniforms in our county (khakis, polos, etc) and most of Miss C’s hand me downs fit Miss A but I want to get them new tennis shoes for school. Also Miss A is a little smaller than Miss C was at 5 so she may need some elastic waist skorts!
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..Temporary Insanity Of The Walmart Variety =-.

  9. Katie says:

    I can’t believe it’s that time of year already — I feel like summer is just starting, but I guess I am in denial. My daughter’s too young for school supplies still, but I stopped at Target yesterday to get some markers, crayons, paints, etc for her to play w/ at home — she loves to do “projects” like at daycare. Target was having some really good sales!! 🙂

    Ugh, I would totally avoid Walmart if you can — no matter what state you live in, those stores are all the same & all attract the scariest wackiest people out there!! Seriously, there’s a whole website in honor of those “Wal-Martians” — check it out: http://www.curiousread.com/2010/02/wal-martians-odd-pics-from-walmart.html
    Hee hee 🙂
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Sunday Mornings =-.

  10. Leighann of Multi-Minding Mom says:

    Our state is having two weeks of NO sales tax on back to school items in August. So I will probably wait until then. But it’s not like we have a ton of stuff to buy and we are reusing her backpack.

    I just wish the sales would start already. I wanted to stock up on craft supplies for birthday party goody bags. Plus my kid goes through glue sticks like they were going out of style!
    .-= Leighann of Multi-Minding Mom´s last blog ..Bookshelf- To the Moon! =-.

  11. Mary @ The Writer's Block says:

    Poor Jamie.

    After last year’s drive-me-crazy-I’m-shopping-every-store-to-find-these-specific-items extravaganza, I did not miss the opportunity to order 3 (!!– hello, $200!!) supply packs from the company. I think I filled it out on the last day of school. My husband is like, do you have to do that now? I’m like, Oh, yes, I do. Not going through the school supply scavenger hunt again this year!

    Anyway–I LOVE your description of “our” Wal-Mart. Not sure if you saw this post of mine at Christmas, but I’ll take on your school supply shopping trip at Wal-Mart any day with my Christmas Eve shopping trip there. LOL. http://www.writingmomof3.com/2009/12/mavis-and-daryl-at-wal-mart-on.html

    I hope you get everything you need in ONE TRIP! 😉
    .-= Mary @ The Writer’s Block´s last blog ..When We Compare Ourselves to Other Mothers =-.

  12. ernestine says:

    Oh, yes – during mom’s 2 year stay in the big city she remembers that Walmart. You described it perfectly. So happy I have moved back to the country where you grew up. This Walmart has been totally remodeled and is beautiful!

  13. amie says:

    I have to admit, I love the messenger bag too. I am really just a third grader at heart 🙂 I think school uniforms are the best! Otherwise my daughter would have a daily fashion meltdown and never make it to school.

  14. Linda Sullivan says:

    The description of that Walmart crowd strikes fear in my heart. Lol. But the Jerry Springer allegory totally made my day 😀

    In our case, we do our shopping even before the panic buying begins in the stores. that takes a load off my mind and preserves my sanity for another hectic day.

  15. Sable(atlmuzikfanzinc) says:

    I haven’t brought school supply for my kids yet. I’m waiting for some better deals on like notebooks and folders. Plus, the pens on sale now I don’t really like and their cheap and never work correctly.

  16. hannah says:

    This is only too true, we also have a Walmart here that I avoid like the plague. When I absolutely have to go to it, I want out asap. Its crowded, VERY noisy, checkout lines take absolutely forever, and messy.

    As for school supplies, great sales have already started here, at Target, Kmart, Staples, Office Depot…
    I don’t have kids of my own yet, but am taking advantage of the sales to stock up on art supplies for kids that come over, and to donate for needy kids.

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