With the start of school just days away, many Mexico area parents and their students did last-minute shopping this weekend, preparing for the first day of classes.
While most younger children ran for the more popular higher priced items, their parents said they were working with tighter budgets this year and many are being more frugal in their shopping than before.
Mexico resident Anthony Johnson and his four children were shopping Saturday at their local Walmart store. Johnson has four children, ages 5, 7, 11 and 12 attending Mexico Public Schools this year. The family was shopping for school supplies, and Johnson said the experience was quite "exhausting."
"This year, we need just about everything new," Johnson said, pointing to the supply lists for elementary and middle school students. With the difference in the kids' ages, Johnson said, it is the same situation with their clothing purchases.
At Goody's clothing store, shopper Angela Aulbur and her fifth-grader Laken were shopping for shoes. While she peered at the on-sale items, Aulbur said there were some school supplies items her daughter will be able to reuse from last year.
"Our normal budget is slightly up from last year, but our children have some things that they must have, and things are getting more competitive, so we're paying more this year," Aulbur said.
Shopping right behind the Aulburs was Brandi Besalte with the Centralia School system, shopping for a new pair of shoes and professional clothing for her job. To help keep her expenses down this year, Besalte said she is using coupons to offset her costs.
"This year, I'm only shopping for what I need," Besalte said.
Centralia mom Mindy Bates said they chose to reuse a lot of last year's supplies and clothing for her fourth-grader, William Bates III.
"I went through all the stuff he had last year, and decided to reuse a lot of it. We're also not buying the clothes like we did in the past," Bates said. Though they caught some sales last week, she said they missed the state's sales tax free holiday. "We didn't do it this year because we got too busy, but we have in the past. Things have been a stretch this year."
Community R-6 student Courtney Wieberg, shopping with her mom Saturday, was doing some comparison shopping to find her needed items for school. Her mother, Becky Wieberg, said they were able to reuse a lot of items, and that they had taken advantage of the tax-free holiday.
"We have a budget we set up and we stay within the budget, which is around $250 including supplies and clothing," Wieberg said. "We also shopped ads to find the best deals."
Back-to-school supplies and clothing items can also be found at The Help Center and the Second to Go resale store in Mexico. The Help Center is located at 716 E. Breckenridge. Seconds To go is located at 623 Holt Street.
Page 2 of 2 - Mexico Public Schools begin Thursday.