Online shopping,  Parenting

The only Back to School Guide you’ll need!

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Don’t come for me…I know you are all confused! It’s not even Christmas yet, but here you are with a Back to School Guide Simone? Well if you didn’t know…school is starting in literally less than a month! On the 9th January, it’s lunch boxes, sports runs, homework and school clothes! Fun!!! I thought it best to get this guide out early, because honestly…between the 1st and the 8th…we are going to be hustling big time to get this stuff done. Why not start now? With the help of some of the products in my back to school guide, we’ll all be ready for January…….

Stationery

If your child is starting school next year, by now you’ve received the dreaded ‘Stationery list’ right? Where your kid needs 3000 pritts, 7000 pencil crayons, 11 erasers and 29 rulers….and so forth and so forth…. I usually spend time trying to source the best deals, also going to places that have a lot of variety, because I’m bound to need more than what’s on the stationery list! CNA is that place….where I have popped in probably 100 times for a pack of pens, an eraser, a lunchbox….and also last-minute gifts for a kids party. Kids parties…totally off topic I know, but honestly…CNA has always been a lifesaver, just because you literally can find ANYTHING at CNA. This is the stationery shop we grew up going to…now I take my kids there! The circle of life right?

Whether you need:

  • Stationery
  • Books
  • Electronics
  • Christmas decorations

CNA literally has it all! I was really bummed, because our closest CNA was under 1km away and they closed down recently, but thankfully there is an online store, when I can’t get to an actual store! They offer FREE DELIVERY for purchases over R350! So you can shop from your bed…in pyjama pants, if you want to! It doesn’t get easier than that, does it? 

Labels

When your child starts school, you would hardly think that pencil crayons and pens will be the thing giving you sleepless nights, but I assure you….they are! I recall when Addison started Gr. 1 and we got this list…with literally 100 plus items of stationery. So exciting, popping into CNA, buying all the stationery, fun right? Then we had the physical stationery…unpacked it all and realised: Every single one of them apparently needed to be marked. *cue horror music*! I thought…would tippex work? Cutting and pasting labels I’ve written on? We spent so much time (unsuccessfully) figuring out how to mark her stationery…a real #ParentingFail! Pre-printed labels were such a foreign concept to me….but thankfully, I eventually joined the 21st century!

Thanks to MyTOWERLabels this year, I am soooo sorted and I’m feeling really chuffed with myself! Their standard label packs come with:

  • 30 Book Labels
  • 50 Clothing (Iron-on)
  • 60 Wrap-around labels
  • 44 Stationery Labels
  • 8 Shoe Labels
  • 2 Bag Tags
  • 44 Mini Labels

I’m really excited about the bag tags, because I have honestly searched for bag tags for years now. I either forget when I’m out shopping or the retailer is out of stock. Sometimes I do buy a fluffy key ring to attach, but usually after 2 months that falls off. There’s no mistaking whose bag this is, because my kid’s name and school is printed on the tag. Also I have never gotten shoe labels as an option anywhere else that I’ve ordered before, so this is revolutionary stuff to me! I find these labels are fantastic quality. I usually have issues where, by the time we send the stationery to school, the labels are unwrapping already…these seem to stick like glue from what I can see.

Also, most of the labels are waterproof and dishwasher safe, so perfect for marking their lunchboxes and juice bottles. They also do ‘preschool packs’ as well as ‘mini packs’, so definitely go check the website out for all the various options. MyTOWERLabels also couriers to your door….I mean….again, you don’t even have to get out of bed! Netflix, shop, chill…and wait for delivery 😉 Our 2019 stationery has already been labelled. I’m totally winning at #momlife at the moment.

PSA: Use my buddy Megan’s discount code ‘mommalikeme’ for 10% off your order! 

The Lunchbox

So stationery nightmares aside, I know….I make school life sound awful, but people…my anxiety on a Sunday around 2pm is insane. I know I need to go to Spar to go and pick up the week’s supply of lunch goodies. What kills my souls even more is that some months I will go to Makro and buy mini cheddars in bulk, cashew nuts in bulk, juice boxes to last a month, etc. A week later….there’s NOTHING! Why are my kids like this???? I tell them not to snack on school snacks, but nooooo they don’t give a crap. So I end up spending way more than I need to… Thankfully in November I got to trial The Lunchbox

What is The Lunchbox?

It’s a month’s supply of prepacked snacks, in brown paper bags that are pre-numbered. Growing bodies need these 5 to Stay Alive:

  1. Carbohydrates (Provide energy)
  2. Protein (Build and repair tissue)
  3. Fats (Provide backup energy)
  4. Vitamins and Minerals (Maintain optimal health)
  5. Water (Enables vital bodily functions)

So included in the packs are items like Health Bars and Oat Crunchies, Biltong and droëwors, Nuts, Dried Fruit and Water and Juice. All I have to do is pop in a fruit and a sandwich and off they go! Some mornings my kids didn’t even want a sandwich and they were so excited about getting their bags out for the next day…I’ve never seen them so involved (or so excited) about their lunchboxes! These bags:

  • Save me time…because no more Makro/Spar trips on a Sunday…
  • Petrol…because they deliver to my door
  • Keep me sane, because I don’t have to hear…’we’ve had mini cheddars all week!!’.
  • Offers the kids variety…because…they don’t want the same mini cheddars all week!
  • Saves me money, because the kids are not consuming a month’s worth of snacks in a week…they respect the bag system!
  • Were perfect during the exam time when I really just had too much on my plate, and lunch packing was at the bottom of my priority list!

This is really an amazing service, and one you really should consider to make your life easier. I have 3 kids, so I would just open 3 bags and let them mix and match if they wanted to. Of course my bags didn’t last a month, but I still think for 2 weeks and the effort and time it saved me…great concept, product and service. They also do adult packs, banting packs and you can stipulate…water only, juice only…or a mix…which is what I took! Check the website out over here.

The Yumbox

My husband spotted me in the tupperware aisle recently and went: Why are you always buying new lunchboxes???? I almost slapped him. I told him: Until you actually pack lunch and realise:

  1. There are never clean lunchboxes (because they apparently like to be warm, cozy and DIRTY in the school bag overnight).
  2. You never find lunchboxes that are durable (I just returned 2 to Tupperware that are not even 3 months old…battered and chipped).
  3. You need functional lunchboxes.

…there are actually never enough lunchboxes! Or juice bottles for that matter…. I am ALWAYS on the hunt for the best lunchbox. I love packing lots of little bits for the kids, hence why I love the Lunchbox concept above. Usually, I like to pack some nuts, fruit, corn cakes and little sandwiches. Sometimes I want to give the kids a dipping sauce, but I literally have found NOTHING that I trust to contain the sauce…UNTIL now! When I saw the Yumbox on Cloud+Co recently, I lost my mind. This seemed to be the lunchbox that my dreams are made of!

What is the Yumbox?

Yumbox is a kid-friendly, bento-style lunch container designed for kids and adults. Yumbox is made with high quality, super durable, BPA-free, food-safe materials. It is also leakproof! Pack wet foods like yogurt and dips (not water). Seals with one lid. Kid-friendly latch. Includes exterior box and tray insert with New York City themed illustrations.

Easy for little kiddie fingers

LEAKPROOF! Kid-Friendly? Do you know how many times I’ve had anxiety sending my kids with a new lunchbox, worried they wouldn’t be able to get it open? I am so excited to send my kid to school with some chicken strips and dipping sauce next year!! These come in a range of stunning colours and also there are different designs, depending how many compartments you need. It’s also easy to clean as the tray is able to be taken out of the lunchbox and cleaned seperately.

Cloud and Co also stock the cutest Bento box accessories…the little forks…oh my soul! I can cry looking at them, they’re so darn cute…and functional! It’s just so fun! Adam has claimed the Yumbox as his own…Addison wants to know why Joshua’s name is on it…. needless to say, I’m putting in an order for 2 more Yumboxes ASAP!

Last bits and bobs

When it comes to school clothes, shop around. Sometimes getting the shirts from Woolworths or Pep is cheaper, and you can just buy a badge and iron it on. Also find out if the school has a second-hand shop as you score amazing bargains at a fraction of the cost for spares…because believe me, kids lose things! More so if they aren’t marked properly….but I don’t have to worry about that 😉

I hope you found the back to school guide helpful! School honestly is a whole new experience as we as parents are more involved than ever…I believe with the above partners….the start to your school year will be a much easier one!

Related: My top resources for educational material for Gr. 1 to Gr. 12. 

Disclaimer: This post was written in partnership with the brands listed above (except for the last paragraph), but all opinions and experiences with the products and services are my own and 100% honest.  . 

 

I’m Simone, a mom of 3, a wife, chocoholic and makeup lover! This is my little spot to talk about anything and everything I’m obsessed with.

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