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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Catalog Chaos

(photo: Microsoft Office Clipart)

Hi everyone. Shh. Don't tell anyone I'm here. I'm going to whisper. Do you remember where I'm supposed to be? That's right, the basement. Guess what? I haven't stepped foot in there yet. I'm like a kid being told to clean his/her room. I am finding every reason in the book not to go in that room. I know, I know...buck up and get going. I will, I promise---soon.

Anyway, I was telling Momma Young yesterday that I had to get the order for the nursery school done. I usually finish the upcoming year's order by the end of June, but for some reason this year didn't contain the month of June, or is that just me?

I will tell you this is not one of my favorite "director" jobs. I dread spending money because I am always afraid I might spend too much. I never want to go over budget, but boy there are some great things out there.

Here is how my ordering chaos goes: First every school store in the nation has sent me a catalog that I have piled up over time. I make a list of what is needed, and what I would like. Then I go through every catalog to try and find the best price. I make a list from each catalog and then do some comparison shopping---TAKES FOREVER!

And you know what? I usually end up going with the old favorites anyway. (I strayed last year and boy was I sorry). My dilemma always comes when there is a certain item or items only available in that catalog you never used before. Do I order them? Do I wait and see? Do I really want to pay shipping and handling on that one item?

Next is to add everything up and see if I have gone over and have to take things off my wish list:(. Of course, this year after reading the manuals from all those great courses, my wish list is a bit long. Now, I have to go back take some things off, and get new totals.

Time to order. I try the online thing, but do you know how long it takes to punch numbers in for an order over $600.00. So, I call the establishment--which I must say I am usually very pleased by how pleasant and helpful these people are. We're all ready and I start reading numbers--WAIT--is that a 4 or a 7? Is that a D or an O, P or an R? You get the idea. I'm hoping you are getting the gist of why this is not one of the favorite parts of my job.

Well, I am finished--mostly. There are a few odds and ends I have to get, plus my big Wal Mart shopping spree for paper products, cleaning things, and various others.

Here is my question to all those other wonderful people out there that has a job like this: Is there a way to make this easier? How does your ordering process go? Anything to make this task more palatable. Thanks.

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7 comments:

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Yikes, that sounds like a huge job! I don't have any tips per se but whenever there is something I'm dreading I try to plan a reward when I finish it. A long walk, a coffee date, a trip to the art supply store. It really helps.

I just found your blog via a link on Craft Gossip. I *love* your 4th of July projects and would love to link to them if you didn't mind!

Mama King said...

I don't envy you! Good luck!!

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

My advice -- Find someone else to do it! Lol ;-) Seriously, I feel your pain. *sigh* Treat yourself to a big bowl of ice cream when this is all over... you deserve it!

Sheryl said...

We usually just order from Discount School Supply. Maybe 3 times a year. Anything else, we buy local. We try to be as resourceful as we can and I think we do pretty well.

Patti said...

We order most of our stuff from Discount School Supply, branching out only when they don't have something or we know about a better price. We have a local educational store we buy small things from, but their prices aren't great. Amazon.com is also a good place to get stuff, and if you pay for the Prime membership you can find most things at a decent price and never pay shipping.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Every classroom in my center has a classroom budget to get whatever it needs. This way it is not all up to the director to order things.

Preschool Playbook said...

I have to tell you that I LOVE Discount School Supply. I do get most of my order here. Last year I strayed to a company that had everything in one catalog: supplies, decor, stickers, office products, etc. Boy was I sorry. Things did not go well.
I wish I could get everything at Discount School Supply--they are great.