Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Question of the Week...



For those of you with school-aged children...

Do you buy your kids a new backpack each fall?

Each of my children seems to think that they need a new one this year. And I disagree.

I rounded up SIX backpacks around here last week. Jansport, Eastpack, and REI brands, ALL in perfect condition. I'm just not really cool with spending money on a new one for each of them when we have perfectly good ones they can use. And I'm really not okay with spending money on a cheap backpack that won't last more than one year. That's the reason I bought the above mentioned brands in the first place...they last forever!

So...do you buy a new one each year, or don't you? I'm really curious.

18 comments:

Amber said...

We don't. And my kids hate it. A couple of years ago we bought LLBean backpacks and lunchboxes -- and we are still taking them to school. My kids want the cheezy ones from Wal-Mart...but, I'm not going to do it!

I'm with you!

elaine@bloginmyeye said...

I bought an LL Bean this year in hopes that I won't have to buy my dd another one before college. She's probably not gonna go for that, eh?

Gina said...

No, I buy them when they need them. I have quite a few, but the serve purposes long after they are no longer for school. The current backpack status is this. Jesse: new pack after 1 year. His is looking for a trash can to crawl into. Caleb: New backpack after 3 years. His can be repurposed. Elizabeth: New backpack after 2 years. Hers can be repurposed. Abigail: New back pack after 1 year. Her old one can become the new dance bag, the old dance bag can be given to a smaller cousin. Jonah: No new backpack. He is happy as a calm with "Backpack" of Dora fame.

Trish said...

No new backpacks, or school clothes for that matter, unless they are necessity. I am not one that goes out and buys new, just because the advertisements say I should. And neither of my kids have complained about it yet, however I am thinking this is the year my oldest wisens up to the whole thing, so maybe it will be a bit of a struggle. we'll see.

Like your backpacks, I buy GOOD shoes. I typically buy my kids 2 pairs of shoes a year (besides cheap flip-flops) and I always go for a sturdier, higher quality shoe. My four year old wore the same shoes from August to March!! They were Keens and were completly waterproof...now I want to replace them with the same ones and I can't find them!!

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

My kids are too little for school stuff but I remember we didn't get new ones unless they were needed. I know we got fresh clothes when the seasons changed and maybe actual school supplies (also if necessary), but never a new bag for each year. I'm pretty sure I had the same jansport one all through high school.

Kara Lyn said...

My sister and I were just talking about that...it's always fun to get a new backpack but if you have one that is in good shape...how about a new key chain to hook onto the zipper or something else new that will excite them without the higher cost!

Gretchen said...

I like kara lyn's idea about putting something new on the old reliable backpack. I'm going lands end this year, and I'm not buying new ones for at least 2 school years. We usually find other things to put in used backpacks, though. We've been doing backpacks a little on the cheap, though, so they do look yucky after a year. I'm the same way with lunch bags. Both of my kids have to take lunch 90% of the time because they don't have a cafeteria, so I usually gut up a little more for a lunch bag. But these only lasted 1.5 years.

Maybe now is the time to talk budgeting to your older kids? Perhaps a set amount of $$ is theirs for the spending, and must include all the supplies and "extras". Wait...I think I'm tripping upon an idea for myself. :)

His Girl said...

case by case basis at the HisGirl house. if you are rough and need a new one because of neglect, or if you just want a new one for no good reason, it's your expense. if it just isn't going to do the job any more, it's my expense.

and yes, I buy the cheapo 'fashion' one for the girls, and the 'spensive one for the teen. He's been getting more time out of his- 2-3 years, and the girls get about a year out of theirs. his-40 bux, theirs, 11- it all comes out in the wash.

Jacquie said...

I think we probably got new cheap bags with each school year until about middle school. Then my kids wanted nicer packs, so then we went on a necessity basis. In high school, I think mine bought their own if they wanted something new and theirs was still usable.

I wasn't one to buy all new clothes for the first day of school either... we bought them when necessary.

Lisa said...

Ok, I guess I'm the only one...yes, I buy my kids new backpacks each fall. I'm so ashamed! I just have to admit that I enjoy buying new school stuff as much as my kids do. I think it's just become part of the ritual to get us psyched up for the coming year. However, I buy the Wal-mart ones. My kids love them and they seem to last the whole year.

Jennifer said...

My oldest son bought his own last year and my middle one had the one that I bought the previous year. So this year my oldest let my middle use the one he had and asked for a new one. I wasn't going to get one but then ended up with two awesome coupons for Office Max and then I bought the bookbag and tons of school supplies all for $20..........and the bookbag was a Jansport! Cool beans!

I usually don't buy new clothes each year either but unfortunately this year I had to buy 7 complete outfits for all three kids b/c our county went to uniforms. I don't mind the uniforms but LAUGH when they tell me that the uniforms don't cost extra! LOL

Do you have a Staples near you? There are a lot of great sales from the store each week! :)

Lesli said...

My daughter is going into Kindergarten this year and she got a new backpack, but her bday was in July and w/ a $40 gift card she received from a friend she got a "Littlest Pet Shop" backpack and lunchbag for school, a new pair of tennis shoes and notebooks and pencils with it. She just didn't need any more toys or American Girls dolls. My son just started preschool and even though he doesn't carry a backpack to school he got to pick out a Spiderman one and a new lunch box (which he does take when he goes three days a week).
I get everything at Target. They have good sales and their stuff lasts a long time. I will buy them a new backpack and lunch box every year as well as school clothes and supplies. That's what my parents did and to me that is the excitement of Back to School.We always hand down or recycle/repurpose our used items too.

Natalie @ I AM (not) said...

Well, since my kids walk about 8 feet to the schoolroom, we don't even use 'em. :)

Kellie said...

Nope.

I buy the the sturdiest back pack I can find (that I don't have to get a job to pay for!) and then they keep it until the thing falls apart!

I'm mean that way!

;)

Meredith said...

OK, so this is what I'm in for, huh? I bought Graham his first official school backpack this year. But seeing as he is only 4, I opted for a smaller version than what you are buying. Are boys really as picky about this subject as girls? :)

Rae said...

Though I know they do not need a new backpack every year (we buy the brand that last forever) if they want one then I buy them one. What do I do with the older backpacks? I have turned them into 72 hour kit bags for each member of the family. They're stocked and ready to roll out the door in case we ever need to dash out in an emergency.

Gretchen said...

So...based on all this lovely feedback, what did you decide to do? :) You really got me thinking, Mer. Also about maybe donating our more gently used packs and filling them with school supplies for other kids. I found out my kids' lists have "roller" back packs on them. Trying to decide if I'll acquiesce or buck the system on that one.

And...I have to admit, I'm a lot like lisa (above). I get a rush from all the new school supplies. :)

Suzanne said...

I need to refer back to this post and its many comments the next time my kids whine and say "EVERYBODY gets a new one every year". Put me in the mean mama category. :)