Now that August has arrived, it's back to back-to-school shopping. When I was a kid, it was all about having the coolest Trapper Keeper. The Trapper Keeper was the iPhone of the 80's preteen. It held folders and paper and it had a clipboard and you could even stuff photos inside the plastic cover. I vividly remember ogling the Lisa Frank designed Trapper Keepers and begging my mom to spend the $5 on one. I actually had this one.

Voicemail and text messages? Who needed digital technology? We had these and they fit nicely in our Trapper Keeper:

April B.

I never could figure out why my mom wouldn't buy me highlighters just because I wanted them even if they weren't on the school supply list. I could not fathom why she wouldn't just automatically buy me the coolest, biggest, Trapper Keeper we could find.

And then I had kids.

And then they went to school.

And then I had to become a purchaser of school supplies.

And then I got it.

This year I've begun purchasing school supplies online. Why online, you ask? Because, inevitably, all teachers will require plastic folders with brads AND pockets in three or four specific colors. This creates a conundrum because one of those colors... whichever one it is.... will be sold out in every. single. store.  They'll have the green cardboard folder with brads and pockets but not the plastic one as specified on the supply list. And you know what'll happen then? I'll stand there and panic and sweat trying to decide if I should just buy the cardboard one. And if I do, will the teacher be mad? Will she think my kid is a lame slacker with even lamer slackier parents?  Should I chance it and try to find the plastic one elsewhere?  And then I'll wonder if I should log into Pinterest and search for some magical household product that can transform a cardboard folder into a plastic-like one, because you know such a product exists.

And this is why I've gone the online route. They have everything in every variety. And I don't have to leave my couch. And I can be reasonably assured I got the best deal. I've already discovered you can buy glue sticks in bulk and they're way cheaper. I'll need a total of 32, so that's handy. Most stores ship free if you spend $50, and that's not hard to do.

The bright light in all of this is my kids are still in elementary school where supplies are very specific and often community property--eliminating the need for fights over things like fancy Trapper Keepers.... or whatever the cool thing is these days.