Sep 18, 2011


"Back to school" can be scarey words for kids.  But it can also mean stress for moms too.  Thankfully in our district we don't have any registration fees for school but there is still plenty of money to be spent.  If you've ever felt stressed over back to school shopping, you aren't alone.  Check out these facts from an online survey Mom Central Consulting and T.J.Maxx/Marshalls conducted in August, 2011 to uncover their back-­‐to-­‐school shopping habits. Almost 1,000 Moms with at least one child in elementary through high school took the survey.

• The majority of Moms (60%) do the bulk of their back-­‐to-­‐school shopping a few weeks in advance.
• Even though most Moms get a head start on shopping, 25% wait until the last minute.

• About half of Moms shop at 2-­‐3 stores when shopping for back-­‐to-­‐ school items.
• About 1/3 of Moms prefer to shop at ‘one-­‐stop’ stores vs. specialty stores.

• 81% of Moms said that the rising cost of items (i.e. gas, groceries) negatively affect their family’s back-­‐to-­‐school budget this year.

How do you balance what your child/children want when shopping for back-­‐to-­‐school items and your budget? 
Prevalent themes include: compromise, spreading out purchases, budgeting, understanding wants vs. needs and durability.

• When it comes to Moms and their kids agreeing on fashion choices, 75% say they only sometimes agree.
• Although finding a compromise on clothing choices can be a challenge, only 1% say they NEVER agree with their children.
• What kind of style does your kid have? Moms equally say their child’s style is sporty, fashionista or classic, with each getting about 25% of the responses.
• 14% said other
• 6% said geek-­‐chic “Must Haves”
• 81% of Moms said their kids will be using a backpack to tote around their school supplies this season.
• Sneakers (84%) are the most important type of new footwear

As a mom on a TIGHT budget, I start school supply shopping early in the summer so that I can spread out the cost and take advantage of specific super low prices on different items each week.  For clothes I try to buy ahead for the next year as each season finishes.  But there is one thing that we almost always need as school kicks off and the weather cools off...sweatshirts and hoodies.  These are a necessity for Illinois in autumn but for some reason my kids seem to never have them.  Maybe they eat them or trade them for treats for lunch but when the crisp cool weather hits, I am always scrambling for hoodies.  So this weekend I headed to Marshalls to see what I could find in this department.  
It literally took me minutes to find a couple great sweatshirts for each of the boys to start off the season.  Each of these great light weight hoodies was only $16.99.

And then there was the cost of taking one of my kids shopping with me...he found this hologram Star Wars puzzle that he REALLY wanted.  For $3.99, I couldn't say no.  After all, he had just finished his first soccer game of the season and was tromping around in his cleats and soccer shorts so I could get what I needed.

And FYI a 100 piece puzzle is made noticeably more difficult when it is a holograph!

If you could use a little help in deciding what you need in the fashion department for your back to schooler, Marshalls is here to help...
Back-­‐to-­‐School Fashion!
Heading back to school means teens are prepping for their hallway debut. Marshalls has all of the must-­‐have designer trends of the season for every guy and girl . With 10,000 new pieces arriving at each store every week, teens can make the hallway their runway every day with a different style.

"Off‐price retailer Marshalls makes it easy for teens to flaunt their own style while saving money," says Marshalls Spokesperson, Sonya Consentini. "Teens will be thrilled to scoop up the lastest designer thrends and parents will be thrilled that those trends are half the price of what they would pay in department and mall stores."

With updates on so many of the must-­‐haves for back to school, teens will be able to create their own unique looks by following the trends below:

  •  Tops, dresses and jackets are flaunting new, voluminous sleeve details with kimono and dolman shapes. A capelet and pair of cropped denim pants are a great combo for returning to the classroom.
  •  A must-­‐have for the new school year is a French terry zip-­‐up hoodie, solid or striped. Fashionistas will try it layered over a romper.
  •  Skinny leg denim should not be forgotten, but teens should make room in their wardrobes for a new pair of flared leg jeans. They look best paired with a vintage tee and lightweight jacket.
  •  For teens, boots and booties with details like lacing, wedges and shearling or faux fur are the must-­‐have footwear for the 2011 school year.
  •  Accessorizing is fun with skinny belts, printed scarves, fashion totes for carrying books and lots of leggings and tights to choose from.

  •  Denim is a key wardrobe staple for guys, and this year whiskered jeans in darker washes are perfectly paired with a plaid button-­‐down and chukka boots.
  •  Vintage tees with a pair of striped shorts and basketball sneakers make his walk down the hall one that no one will forget.
  •  A lightweight hoodie is his fall jacket. Whether solid or striped, this must-­‐have can be worn with everything from shorts to denim and tees or a more formal button-­‐ down style.
  • For more casual days, athletic wear is a great option. A tee and shorts or running pants with a pair of Americana kicks will keep guys comfortable, yet on-­‐trend.
  •  Cross-­‐body bags in either solid or prints are the perfect way for guys to carry their books and look cool at the same time.
About Marshalls
Shopping off-­‐price at Marshalls allows customers to find the hottest designer fashions for up to 60 percent off department store prices. With buyers traveling 40+ weeks per year to negotiate with more than 12,000 vendors in over closets for less. Marshalls is one of the nation's leading off-­‐price family apparel and home fashion retailers with over 870 stores spanning 42 states and Puerto Rico. Marshalls offers a wide selection of current season, top quality, brand name fashions for the entire family as well as giftware and domestics for the home at prices 20-­‐60 percent less than department stores, specialty boutiques and catalogs.

Could you use $100 to spend at TJ Max or Marshalls? Click the image below to be taken to the contest page!!

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of T.J.Maxx and Marshalls and received a gift card to facilitate my review and thank me for taking the time to participate.


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