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Cool gear for back to school

I try to minimize purchases when it comes to back to school shopping for my three kids, but I have come across a few new items that are relatively inexpensive, useful and cute to boot:

This lunch box from Lands End is easy to clean, easy for kids to carry and comes in great, bright colors. It’s at www.landsend.com on sale for $14.50

If you haven’t heard of these SIGG reusable water bottles, you will soon. They are all the rage and with good reason. They are eco-friendly, virtually indestructible, the special coating on the inside of the bottle is scent and taste neutral, and a great alternative to drinking water and juices from plastic bottles which can leach harmful chemicals and add waste. You can check them out at www.mysigg.com and they are available at many grocery and sporting goods stores, including Dick’s and REI.

I think we are all looking for lunchbox alternatives to sandwiches which is why I love this Thermal Snack Jar from the Container Store (www.thecontainerstore.com). It keeps cold food and drinks cold and hot food and drinks hot – perfect for soups, pastas, chilis, smoothies, etc. I also love the fork/spoon utensil that comes with it – it fits right on the lid so no more searching for plastic spoons.  

 This Hello Kitty wheeled backpack isn’t anything new, but it’s one of the many discounted items I have bought on Overstocks.com (www.overstocks.com). From vacuums to pillows to pots and pans, they have it all. They have a great collection of kids backpacks and shipping is free now on back to school items.

When it comes to clothes shopping for my kids, the one store where I have success for all three is The Children’s Place. I think the clothes are great quality (definitely up to hand me down standards), inexpensive (it seems like they are always on sale), and they have both trendy looks (which my kids like) and classic (which I like). I got the shirt above for my son which was on sale for $6.00 and two each of the shirt below for my girls which is on sale for $9.00. A good deal in my book.  Do you have any back to school shopping finds?

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Rachael Ray