I know I’ve said it before: we enjoy lots of traditions in the Bradley house. The start of a new school year has been marked for us (like many households, I imagine) with back-to-school shopping – including, and perhaps especially, a new backpack. Keep in mind, I’d still comparison shop, use coupons, and wait for a sale, but each year we’d retire the old backpack and shop for something new.
This year – beneath the weight of a much slimmer income and my growing understanding of how wasteful it is to replace what’s still usable – I told our boys we’d be breaking with tradition and not buying new backpacks. Of course, because I’m me, I broke that news as I escorted them into the at-home-store I’d set up in our kitchen. I’d gathered our collection of backpacks from the last couple of years (plus two that my husband uses on occasion), wiped them down, fluffed them up, and done my best to create an attractive display where my boys could “shop” for what they’d carry this year.
Much to my joy (and surprise) neither of them balked or bemoaned the change. Our youngest simply asked if he could personalize his new-to-him backpack (his contribution to making it “new” to him). I could see the wheels spinning in his mini-maker brain and was more than happy to brainstorm ideas with him.
Over the weekend, he and his dad worked their magic and – voila! – created something that appealed to him more than anything we could have found at Target.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love saving money and treading lightly on our earth. This project had the added bonus of letting me plant the seeds of good stewardship in our son.
And our month of potential marches on.