Yesterday, my girls had their 6 month dental visit. $300 in crowns for one kid. The dreaded ORTHODONTIST referral for the other. Thank goodness for dental insurance, because the first kid's teeth would cost over $1,000 without it, and the orthodontist without insurance, well, who wants to think about that nightmare? Not I!
Today, they both brought home tee-shirt order forms for their school's annual field day event. This is not optional. It's the field day uniform. The shirts are $10.00 apiece. Not too expensive, but that's $20.00 for my family. Then, there's picture day. $10 each for class pictures, paid up front. Individual spring protraits will be sent home for our approval (read: sent home to guilt us into paying for them) prior to payment.
Popcorn and pickles are sold each Wednesday. A quarter and fifty cents, respectively. Not a big deal. One of each, once a week, for two kids will cost me $60.00 over the course of a 40-week school year.
My oldest has been invited to participate in the Cup Stacking Championships. It's by invitation only, and she needs a special tee shirt for the event. Six dollars.
This Thursday, the same kid is singing in chorus for some basic training graduates. She has to wear dark pants and a white shirt. She doesn't have any dark pants, so I have to go buy her some.
Both kids came home with literature for selling frozen cookie dough. One catch: you can only sell to family and friends. And all your friends attend the same school and are selling the same product. And your family is across the country, because your parent is in the military. So basically, you can only sell to your parents. The packs of cookie dough were $15 each. You had to sell two to get the smallest prize. The prize? A latex balloon. I didn't buy any cookie dough.
It's almost Earth Day. There will be a school-wide celebration. And they sold tee shirts for it. $7 each. That's fourteen dollars for my family.
Speaking of tee shirts (they seem to be quite popular at our elementary school), you must pay $10 each to have a school tee shirt to wear on spirit days, which are each Friday. That's $20 for my family.
Some Fridays, they sell candy. I could go on about why I disagree with the selling of candy to elementary school students. I'll just say that the candy was $1 each.
Oh, and there are the Smencils. These are scented pencils. One dollar each.
There is always at least one fundraiser active at this elementary school. Surely I can't be the only parent experiencing burnout. Why not just ask each parent to write a monthly check?
At least I know I can save on groceries ($2.00 for a tiny school lunch, by the way, and it doesn't fill my first grader's belly). Here's a recipe that will give you a reprieve from all those "free public education" expenses. :)
- 1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 2 Tbsp dill relish
- 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
- buns or sliced bread for serving
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Drain and return to skillet.
- Add onion and saute 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook and stir until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve on buns or bread.