As we enjoy the beautiful weather of August, the kids are starting to have a mix of excitement, anxiety and disgust at the thought of going back to the “big house”. Giggles aside, the Labour Day long weekend signals a change in our schedules. We leave the beach and sprinklers behind, and start to focus on what’s next.
For some, it’s back to school. It might be moving away from home for the first time to go to college or university. It might be starting a new job. Whatever the situation, having the right tools for the job takes the stress away and leaves you free to be creative, study hard and get on with life.
When shopping for supplies for any situation, it’s important to follow a couple of basic guidelines. Here’s how I get started:
- What’s my budget?
- Make a list.
- What tool will be used the most?
- What tool might go missing?
- What tool will have the most impact on my comfort?
First up, BUDGET! A total number is fine at this point, you can get to the nitty gritty later. As the manager of a shop that sells quality tools, I understand that we can’t all afford top notch all the time (wouldn’t that be nice?). Having a budget in mind makes all the other decisions easy. You might be surprised at what you can get when you shop smart!
Next, make a list. For school, this is often done for you, yay! If not, consider a day in your life in the fall and winter. Where do you go? How much can you bring with you? What kind of facilities are available for food storage and prep? Will you be bringing meals often, or eating out more? How about snacks and drinks? By planning ahead, it’s a lot easier to eat healthy and resist the temptation to buy a chocolate bar, muffin, or pop.
For me, my favorite things I have at work are my double walled acrylic water cup with straw, my covered coffee mug, my Abeego for sandwiches and wraps, and my microwavable soup mug.
My wish list (as my budget allows, wow is this a dangerous store to work in!) is a ceramic coffee mug with a lid, a compartmentalized lunch container so I can mix hot and cold items in one unit, and a snack container with a spot for ranch so I can bring carrot sticks or other healthy stuff for the afternoon.
Now that you have an idea of what you want and what you want it for, you can prioritize. What item would be used most often? Are you good at taking care of your stuff, or does it get lost or broken often? This will help you decide where to spend your hard earned dollars. Not everything needs to be top quality, as long as it’s functional and safe. When you find that perfect item that you use every day, you’ll forget about the price. If it breaks after a month of heavy use, you didn’t get a good deal.
Come into the shop to see our range of packable containers and accessories (how about a covered paring knife for your apple? or an orange peeler to save your nails?). A new product I’m excited about (hopefully it arrives before the end of August!) is a series of lunch containers from a UK company called Black+Blum. Shipping is turning into a puzzle, but these containers will be worth the wait! I’ll update here when they arrive.
Update: Yes, they’re here! Just in time for the long weekend 🙂 Pop in to the shop, or see what they look like in the front window. Check out an intro video about the larger Box Appetite below. We’re also carrying their Bento Box and Lunch Pot.[yt video=”JN-J6KZSNTA” width=”560″ height=”340″ /]