Save Money by Planning Ahead

Dear overachiever mom who attached stuffed animals to the Valentine’s Day cards your kid passed out at school last week:  I don’t hate you.  Never mind, that all my 8-year-old Scotch-taped to her Snoopy Love Day cards were small packages of Skittles.  Not six-inch plush puppies.  I’m sure you never intended to make the rest of us parents feel like inadequate, uninspired, cheap losers.

Listen, I considered flexing my creative muscle and having my kid attach snack-sized bags of peanuts to the cards.  Get it?  Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy… the Peanuts gang?  Of course, sending nuts to school in this day and age would be akin to handing out cyanide-laced lollipops, so Skittles it was.  Stuffed animals, not so much.  Not even close.  I guess my kid will simply have to live with the shame of being cursed with an underachieving mom who would never fathom purchasing a zoo’s worth of stuffed animals to give out to a bunch of third graders on Valentine’s Day.

Please don’t tell me you sewed each of those stuffed pups by hand… and I won’t tell you that the one my daughter came home with is missing; likely buried under the mess of ripped cards and candy wrappers that make it impossible to know from whom each treat came.


Mediocre Mom

Valentine’s Day has come a long way since Charlie Brown lugged home an empty suitcase from his class party.  These days, most schools require students exchange cards and/or treats with every child in the class, thus avoiding hurt feelings ala “A Charlie Brown Valentine.”

Of course, this new rule can put a real dent in a parent’s wallet.  That’s why it pays to plan ahead.  Today, many discount retailers further reduce the price of what’s left of their Valentine’s Day merchandise.  Typically, the discounts increase from 50% off to 75% off, and at some stores, 90% off.  This is the best time to pick up boxed cards for your kids to hand out next year.  If you don’t think LEGO, SpongeBob or Disney Princess-themed cards will be as popular next year, stock up on generic ones that feature animals, hearts and flowers.

An even cheaper option is to go online and print out free kid-friendly Valentine’s Day cards from the following sites:

If you don’t have a color printer, use what you own and have your kids embellish the cards with crayons, markers or chalk.  If you have a little extra cash, purchase some affordable bulk cardstock, print the cards on it and have your kids use their safety scissors to round the corners.

Bottom line:  By spending a little time now at post-Valentine’s Day sales you can save big down the road.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.