Back-to-school bargain shopping

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I am a shopping snob. I admit it. Back in my two-paycheck no-kids days, I was all about Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Henri Bendel. Of course, my journalist’s salary didn’t allow me to buy too much there, but my role as a newspaper fashion writer kept me keyed in on where to find the good stuff. Now that I’m a stay-at-home mom with two kids, my snobbery must yield to economy (read: Target, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls). This is especially true when it comes to back-to-school shopping. I’ve found that I can usually find the best deals at Abingdon’s Wal-Mart. Yesterday, I found paper folders (7 cents – watch out, the plastic folders are 88 cents a piece) spiral notebooks (10 cents) and plastic pencil boxes (50 cents). Composition books were a splurge at 50 cents a piece, but check out the cool new optical-illusion style patterns on the covers. The only problem is the aisles at this Wal-Mart are so narrow and school supply aisle is divided by a support pillar making it impossible for a cart to squeeze by if any humans are mulling about scanning a list and arguing with a middle schooler over which folder colors to choose. I noticed this year, as was the case last year, the shelf of wide-ruled loose-leaf paper was cleaned out. I plan to check out Learning How in the Bel Air Plaza at the interection of Routes 1 and 24. They have all kinds of teachers’ supplies. If you prefer a little more breathing room while school supply shopping, I noticed Bel Air’s Target devoted the back corner it uses for seasonal items to school supplies. I got my daughter a “My Little Pony” backpack there for preschool. The backpack has a mane of tri-colored pony hair dangling from its front pocket. It actually needs to be brushed to keep from tangling. What will they think of next?