Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to School Shopping & the Quest for the Perfect Backpack @ the Shops at Montebello + $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!

It's back to school time!

Whether you feel relieved that you no longer have to worry about the kids burning down the house while you are at work, crestfallen because you never made it to the water park this summer, or nervous for your child starting a new school year (this one especially pertains to me), it still doesn't get you out of back to school shopping!

The only thing my son needed for back to school shopping was a backpack.

The perfect backpack. He said it had to have pockets. Lots of pockets. So many pockets the pockets had to have pockets within the pockets. He promised the extra pockets would help him stay organized.

Last Saturday, we went on a hunt for this holy grail of backpacks at the Shops at Montebello.

I started out looking at my usual children's clothing stores, but nothing we found had enough pockets to satisfy his yearning for organizational perfection.

I eventually had to muster up my courage and venture into the "teenage" stores. It was a first for me. I learned a lot of new things, such as the next time I go into those store I'm going to bring earplugs, and at some point in the future my son is probably going to ask me for a $100 pair of shoes. 

I took pictures & notes along the way to share the journey with you of our quest for the perfect backpack.

Store #1: The Children's Place

The Children's Place is currently offering Place Cash, for every $20 spent, shoppers receive a coupon for a future purchase, saving $10 off of $20.

The Children's Place has backpacks for $12. They seem small on display, but compared to a Jansport pack, they are exactly the same size. There are also 3 boy-style backpacks. The packs are of good quality, we had one that lasted 3 years before needing to be replaced. 
The Children's Place mini-backpack is perfect for Pre-Schoolers & Kindergarteners. It's big enough to hold homework folders & a lunchpail, and the right size for little bodies. There is also a Hello Kitty & Minnie Mouse pack available.
Store #2: Disney Store
The Disney Store is so incredible, if the item you want is out of stock, a Cast Member can usually order it for you online at the store and it comes with free shipping. If you don't see it, ask!

The Disney Store is having a Back to School sale on backpacks for $15, and matching lunch totes for $10. Favorite Disney characters such as Doc McStuffins, Princesses, and Cars are available.

Store #3: Gymboree

For a limited time everything at the Gymboree is $14.99 or less! That includes these adorable backpacks available in three styles for girls & 2 styles for boys (pictured below).

Gymboree is also offering GymBucks! Spend $50 and receive a coupon for $25 off a $50 future purchase. Combine Gymbucks with the $14.99 sale and not only will your kid look like they walked out of a magazine, but you'll save big at Gymboree!

Store #4: Shoe Palace

Shoe Palace does not carry backpacks, but it was the first day open after the remodel and the employees were so excited for the store to be open they were jumping and yelling. I'm not exaggerating.

Nora, a manager at Shoe Palace told me that these Nike Free Run shoes for $80-100, and Jordan True Fly sneakers, pictured below, for $140+, are extremely popular with teenagers.

 What I found incredible was there was a family in the store buying shoes and the teenage son was wearing Free Runs and was trying on True Flys. Nora knows what she's talking about.

Adidas for girls $48. The sister in the family at Shoe Palace picked up a pair of these Adidas sneakers in red for $48.

As I was on my way out a Shoe Palace sales associate, Justin, said that he would "take care of" any Montebello Mom reader with a discount of up to 20% with a purchase of 2 or more pairs of shoes. Good luck with that readers, you never know.

Store #5: Spencers

I posted last week on my Facebook page that Spencers had all backpacks on sale 50% off. With the sale some were going for as little as $12.50!

Some backpacks have built in speakers which I can only guess assist with classroom presentations. Certainly not for hanging out under the bleachers at lunchtime, no way! School is all about education people.

Store #6: Boarders

The sought after Jansport backpack, probably the most popular brand of backpack by far, goes for $30 at Boarders. Unfortunately, not enough pockets for my kid.
Boarders also carries Herschel backpacks for $55+.

 Store #7: Journeys

Journeys carries a wide variety of Jansport backpacks. The packs sell for $35 for solid color, and $40 for print.

A sales associate wow-ed me by saying the socks sold at Journeys are guaranteed for life. She said, "the socks are on sale for $9.95, they are usually $15, but if they ever stretch, fade, shrink, tear, whatever, then we replace them for free."

To prove that the socks your kid wore out are from Journeys, hold onto the paper band with the UPC code, and no questions asked the socks will be replaced. Journeys carries a wide variety of socks for men, women, children, and toddlers.

 Store #8: JCPenney

We intended our stop in JCPenney to be merely a bathroom break, but across from the in-store optometry department, there are backpacks.

As my son sprinted to the urinal he saw it. THE PERFECT BACKPACK. The Adidas® Climacool® Strength Backpack. It has 6 zippered pockets, and pockets within the pockets. The sale price is $60, regularly $75.

$60 is way out of my price range for a backpack. We didn't buy it. My son was disappointed, but his sisters were whining to go home, and I  promised him we'd shop around for a better price.


When we came home I found a $10 off coupon in the mail from JCPenney, it was kismet. The following day we were back at the Shops at Montebello picking up the perfect backpack for $50. It comes with a lifetime warranty, in case I ever have to cash in on that Adidas promise I'm saving the UPC tag & receipt.


The Shops at Montebello has generously donated a $100 Shops at Montebello Visa Gift Card to give away to one lucky reader for Back to School shopping!
To enter the giveaway click the link below and describe your perfect backpack.
One lucky reader will be chosen to receive a $100 Shops at Montebello Visa Gift Card!
**Click here to enter the giveaway.**

Congratulations to lucky winner:Anna Castillo!
Thanks to all who entered.

Giveaway rules: Deadline to enter is Friday, August 15, at 11:59pm. To enter the giveaway click the link above & fill out the form. One winner will be selected to win a $100 Shops at Montebello Visa gift card. All entries will be numbered and the winning entry will be chosen by a random number generator. The winner will be contacted via email and tickets will be mailed via the United States Postal Service, or delivered in person by a representative of One entry per person. Incomplete entries & duplicate entries will be disqualified.  The winner's name will be published on and Montebello Mom's Facebook page the day after the deadline to enter. Personal information collected in the survey form is not used for any purpose other than this giveaway. All personal information will be deleted after the winners are chosen. Good luck! 


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