Monthly Musings – 7/30/22

Happy Saturday! Monthly Musings is the last Thursday of the month, but I could not pull this post off. So, I am linking up with Holly and Patty today to answer 10 fun seasonal questions. I love seeing everyone else’s answers, too!

This month’s questions are about back to school. I still have about a month before I go back to school and the kids have over a month because they don’t go back until after Labor Day. I haven’t been thinking about back to school at all. This is my mantra right now!

1. How do you get organized for the school year?

My number one way to get organized is starting a new planner. I’ve been using the Erin Condren planner for years. I spent some time on Friday afternoon setting up my new planner and it felt so good. I also use the Erin Condren teacher planner. I just love how it is organized for my media schedule.

At the beginning of the school year, I am great about scheduling grocery pickups weekly and meal planning. Once I get sports schedules figured out, I get into a groove with meals that make a good bit of leftovers, meals that are quick and easy, and meals that take a little longer on less busy nights.

2. Favorite places to shop for back to school clothes?

This year my kids are into Vineyard Vines, Under Armour, and Adidas. We have a VV outlet near us and the rest of our shopping will be online.

3. Do you meal plan? Favorite back to school meals? Share a recipe or two!

Summer Sarah does not meal plan. She looks in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry around 5:30 and makes it work. Regular Sarah must meal plan! Our school year schedule is BUSY with golf, soccer, swim, basketball, lacrosse, and meetings. Jack’s swim team practice is going to be earlier in the afternoon so I really need to have my act together.

When we have really busy nights, I tend to make a lot of protein one night and use it a few different ways throughout the week. One of my favorites is shredded chicken. I put a bunch of frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot with seasoning. I love using Trader Joe’s Citrus Garlic. I leave them in there on low for 8+ hours and shred it with my hand mixer. Then we use the chicken for BBQ chicken, chicken salad, taquitos or tacos, or add it to a pasta veggie salad. I also brown a few pounds of lean ground beef. Then I divide it and make tacos, add it to tomato sauce, use it for beef and broccoli, or sloppy joes. This makes a busy week so much easier. If the kids aren’t thrilled with having the same protein a few times a week, I freeze it and use it in a week or two.

4. What are your kids’ favorite things about going back to school?

Here are their answers: Jack – Nothing, absolutely nothing. Me – Really, aren’t you excited to see your friends? Jack – I see my friends and talk to them all the time.

Luke – Seeing my friends.

Me – I love my job, the kids I teach, and my friends at school!

5. Best place for school supplies?

We always go to Target on August 1st to get our school supplies. This year we had to go in mid-July because we are going to be away on August 1st.

6. Any first day of school traditions?

We always take a picture on the front porch, except for the year our roof was being replaced on the first day of school. We have an easy dinner so I don’t have to spend much time cooking and we have a bunch of time to talk about our days.

7. Best lunchbox tip?

Pack it the night before! I also tend to spend a little more on prepackaged items for lunchboxes to make packing lunches a little easier. For example, cups or pouches of applesauce and individual packs of cheez its or chips. After I pack lunches, we put the lunchbox in the refrigerator and it stays cold until lunch.

8. Buy lunch? Bring lunch? Both?

My kids pack lunch. Even when lunch was free the past two years, they still packed. Occasionally, they will buy lunch but they pack at least 175 days a year. I pack my lunch most days too.

9. Does school start before or after Labor Day where you live?

Our county starts after Labor Day, but some counties around us start before Labor Day. I don’t mind starting that late, but it does mean that we get out a little later in June. We used to go back the week before Labor Day and get out a week earlier in June. I would like to go back to that.

10. Best money saving tips for back to school?

I always buy Crayola crayons, markers, and colored pencils. I buy Ticonderoga pencils, Elmer’s glue sticks, and Paper mate flair pens. I know they tend to be a little more expensive, but they are worth it. My money saving tip is to buy extras of everything at this time of year. Crayons, pencils, markers, glue sticks, and colored pencils are all cheaper at back to school time. You will be so happy that you have some extras when the teachers ask you to replenish your kid’s school supplies in January.

I do love talking school supplies! It gets me so excited for back to school! I can’t wait to see the other answers and maybe pick up a few easy dinner recipes! I’m off to a swim meet to cheer on my boys and soak up some more summer!! Have a great day full of sunshine and books!

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