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Steals, Deals, and Worthwhile Splurges for Back to School

We all LOVE to find a deal.
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Nothing makes women happier (I think) than being asked “Where did you get that great . . . ?” and knowing that she got it for a steal. (Whether or not you share your bargain hunted price is your own perogative.) But when we see something that’s worth it, there’s not a woman I know who isn’t willing to spend a little more. So here are the picks for the best Steals, Deals, and Worthwhile Splurges for Back to School.

#1 – STEAL: Discount immunizations fromTexasStar Pharmacy

No child will be able to cross the school-house threshold without up to date immunizations. And just learned about the best-kept-secret on immunizations (in Plano, at least). TexasStar Pharmacy (), the Big City Pharamacy with Small-Town Friendly Service, offers everyday pricing onimmunizationsfor a steal – $14.75 for children 18 years and under.

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(That’s $10 less than my personal co-pay!) TexasStar Pharmacy is a proud member of the Texas Vaccine Program for Children and for children under 18 years who are uninsured or underinsured, there is very little cost for the immunizations. No appointment is required and after the necessary paperwork is completed, there is usually a very short wait. This “small town” pharmacy also offers many other services, including compounding (think ‘customized’ medicines to deal with allergies, natural hormone therapy, drug reactions or even to simply improve acceptance of medicine by a child), diabetic services, home health equipment (including crutches, wheelchairs, etc.), and more.

#2 – DEAL: School uniforms fromWe Are Uniforms

How I wish I’d known about We Are Uniforms () back when

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my son attended a pre-school with a uniform requirement. We parents groused about how much money we spent on uniforms from the sole-approved vendor. Now, I know there could have been another way. Locally-owned and operated, We Are Uniforms offers a wide variety of school uniforms, as well as work uniforms, scrubs, and corporate logo-wear. Having checked their prices relative to my former outlet, they appear to be the same on some items and often much cheaper than what I had paid before. They also support great local programs like the Dallas Mayor’s Summer Reading Program, where they give 20% off to every child who completes and returns their readlng log showing 20 hours of reading.

So, Moms, before you buy, check them out (they can even complete and ship your order in 5-7 days, after a 3 day cancellation period). If they are not an approved vendor at your school, let your school know about them and ask to do some comparison shopping. You – and your parent group – will be glad you did! (Just don’t let them elect you President afterwards!)

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#3 – SPLURGE: Dress Her Nest atThe Jeweled Jungle

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Careful, Moms. Don’t take your daughters, or yourself for that matter, into The Jeweled Jungle “just to look around.” It can’t happen. There is simply too much great stuff in this West Plano store to walk out empty handed. (Case in point: when I went in to take a few pictures for this article, intending to buy nothing, I walked out with note cards and an embosser monogram stamp for Kate. I ask you, does a 14 week old need personalized stationary? No! But it was so darn cute I couldn’t pass it up!) So, ladies, go if you dare, but be prepared to walk out with some very cool stuff. The owner, Tessa Barnhouse who also owns Safari Kids right around the corner, is a Mom herself and knows how to buy! They carry a great variety of items, many of it handmade by local artists (see the very cool metal art, pictures, and jewelry hangers that look like lamps) in these pictures.

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#4 – STEAL: Kids and Teens Clothing & Gear atSweet Pea Consignment Sale

This coming weekend only, Sweet Pea Consignment Sale is hosting their fall event. Only two times a year

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does this sale come to town, and it’s big. Over 180 consignors have products on sale at the old Blockbuster location at Plano Parkway/Midway (behind Sonic). Conveniently located to Plano, Frisco, Carrollton, Lewisville, The Colony, and North Dallas, they’ve got clothes, toys, gear, and more. The sale opens to the public on Wed, August 12 and runs through Saturday, August 15. Saturday is half-price day, and the owners tell that they still have great stuff available on the last days of their sales. So head on over there to get your kids outfitted for a steal for back to school!

#5 – DEAL on a SPLURGE: Back-to-School House Cleaning fromMaid Brigade

OK, I have to admit, I wasn’t sure how to classify this one. As a Mom who works more-than-full-time, I have someone clean my house and have done so for the past 15 years. It’s my way of making sure the time I spend at home is with my family and not with my toilet brush. But other Moms may consider this a splurge. However, you call it, we’ve got a deal.

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The kids have been home all summer, and so has their mess. Now that they are out of our hair (kinda), it’s time to do some deep cleaning of the house. Maid Brigade of Dallas ( is here to help by offering readers exclusive savings – BIG savings. They’ve taken TWO of their popular promotions and combined them into one, just for our community. They are offering $100 off their Preferred Client Program plus 3 FREE a la

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carte services (think deep cleaning on an area, like washing the inside cabinets of your bath vanity!). The coupon for this $160 savings is on our coupons page (). Oh, what the heck, I’ll include a picture here for those of you who are scanning the page and only looking at the pictures (you know who you are!).

#6 – SPLURGE: Professional Photos by Talented Photographers:Alexander Portrait Designers & Dawn Michelle Photography

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Mark these special years by having a photograph of your child done by a professional photographer. Yes, today’s cameras are putting greater technology into even novices hands (like my own), but professionals always amaze me by their ability to “frame” a subject and to achieve just the right light. Here are two photographers in different areas of DFW to check out.

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Alexander Portrait Designers ( in Mansfield. Have you ever looked at a portrait and found yourself smiling or saying “WOW”? Those are the kind of pictures they take at Alexander Portrait Designers. They have a different and fresh approach to portrait photography (check out their use of classic cars – lots of examples on their website). While their primary focuses are children,

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high school seniors, and families, they’ve also been wedding photographers for over 25 years. They encourage all readers to come see why their experience, dedication to quality, and unmatched customer service, will provide you with a very pleasant portrait experience. Don’t forget to ask about custom holiday cards (it’ll be here before we know it, ladies). And, just in time for those senior photos, they are offering half off your sitting fee in the Month of August!

Dawn Michelle Photography ( in Plano. Some people

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have personal shoppers. Dawn Attebery, the “Dawn” of Dawn Michelle Photography, tells all her clients to think of her as their personal photographer. She caters to her clients’ every need with the utmost attention to de

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tail and personal service. Her signature is in the experience, in creating more than a beautiful portrait, but a lasting memory made easy, effortless, through her unwavering commitment to your satisfaction. As fall appointments will fill up quickly, please call or e-mail soon to secure your high school senior session or family session with Dawn.

#7 – STEAL: Haircuts atKazaam’s Kuts 4 Kids

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With low priced $14.0

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0 haircuts, Kazaam’s Kuts 4 Kids helps you stay within your family budget. (I was shocked at my last bill at the kid’s salon we’ve gone to…prices there have risen quite a bit – $4 more per kid than this price.) Specializing in ‘kids’, they have everything a child needs to feel comfortable while being entertained. From the animal & race-car haircutting chairs to video games, toys and even treats afterwards – Kazaam’s has it all. It warmed our hearts when we learned that Kazaam’s will even open earlier or close later to accommodate the tender emotions of special needs children. With knowledge in all types of hair & styles for any nationality, Kazaam’s is Arlington’s ‘kid-friendliest’ neighborhood salon. They are located at 810 W. Arkansas Lane in Arlington (zip 76013), phone number 817-261-1233.

#8 – DEAL: School Essentials fromLearning Express

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Yes, your neighborhood toy store still exists. It’s called Learning Express, and there are locations all over the metroplex. LOVES the two locations in Plano and Frisco, owned by Sonia Elhence. Her long-tenured staff know how to take care of you and have great products (and great product knowledge!) to share. (Overheard in the store:“Ineed a gift for a 4-year-old boy.”…. “What does he like?”…..“I don’t know, dinosaurs?”…..”How about our remote controlled dinosaur?”……………….They sold two remote-controlled dinosaurs that day.)

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But I bet you didn’t know about their great back-to-school products, which they stock up on for this time of year. They’ve got uber-hip backpacks (mostly for girls – sorry boys….!) at a very reasonable price. (Yep, I checked. Better quality and comparable price to my mainstay, Target.) And their nap mats? Let’s just say I wish I’d known about them before I bought the mats my boys now use. Now they each have named their mats and are quite attached (as pre-schoolers get), so I don’t think ditching them would be too cool. But now I know where to buy Kate’s, and while a construction truck theme is shown here they have other styles for girls. The nap mats at Learning Express are very high quality, and for $42.99, are a bargain.

Plus, they’ve got a $7 off a $35 or more purchase coupon on (), so your deal is even better! Don’t buy a bag or nap mat (or a frog, for that matter – you’ll know what I mean when you go to the store) before checking here.

#9 – DEAL: Exclusive Discount for fromLegacy Books

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I once called Legacy Books ( my “new” favorite place to work. Now it’s my “not-so-new” favorite place to work. It opened about the time went live back in late winter last year, and it’s been fun to watch the starting up process for both of us. Honestly, don’t know how I should feel about so many people now discovering it. (Sad? I have to say, it was kinda nice to have a 24,000 square foot bookstore all to myself. Happy? If everyone shops here, the store be successful, and I will have this awesome 24,000 square foot bookstore 1 mile from my home forever! You can see how I might be conflicted.)

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In fact, the picture here shows the view from my almost-daily perch on the third floor (just add sunlight).

I could gush on about this place and their extremely wonderful staff (and will, in a future article about them), but for now let me just say this place is awesome. And now, they are even more awesome than I thought before, because they are offering a great discount for community – 20% off your purchase. So, Moms, when you get that required reading list from the school for your kids, come here to stock up on those books. And tell Richard, Heather, Kurt, Teri, and everyone else that says hi.

#10 – STEAL: Making Sure You’re Getting the Most Available Services for Your Child fromRich Educational Consulting

Navigating the U.S. and Texas educational system is daunting enough for a parent of “average” children. But for parents of special kids – either gifted or facing learning or physical challenges – it can be even more complicated. How can one make sure you are getting all of the available services for your child? Adina Rich, owner of Rich Educational Services, can help. As a nationally certified and state recognized diagnostician, Adina has worked with students experiencing learning challenges, behavior and emotional difficulties, reading difficulties, second language learners, and ASD. She is a passionate advocate for children and families and works tirelessly to see that children get the appropriate services they need to be successful in school. Adina spent many years working for local school districts in both general and special education, so she knows the education side of the system, definitely

a plus when she’s “going to bat” for you to make sure your child is getting what he/she deserves. For our communit, Adina is offering a special – $50 to review all service plans available, or $50 to attend an ARD/ISFP meeting with parents as their advocate (regularly $75 and $100 respectively). Peace of mind for the price of a nice dinner out with your hubby? Definitely a steal.


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