Back-to-school season is now in full swing, and let me tell you, I've never felt better about not having to go to school any more. However, we can still take advantage of the bargains! If you like to wear polo shirts, grey, black or navy pants or white ankle socks, this is your time to shine.
Schools have made a massive move towards 'nude food' policies: kids have to bring their lunches in individual plastic containers that eliminate the need for lunch bags and wrap. I'm pretty sure this is because teachers hate having to supervise kids picking up litter in the playground. But you can use them to take your grown-up lunch to work.
At Kmart you can get Smash Nude Food Movers snack boxes and sandwich boxes, triple snack tubes or double snack tubes for $3 each.
Woolworths has all the Smash Nude products at half price. The sandwich box is the same price as at Kmart, but the snack box is only $1.99 and the double and triple snack tubes are only $2.49.
Woolies also has other products in the range, including a cube-shaped salad box for $3.99, a large meal box for $3.49, an "ice melt with chillout socks" for $3.49 and a hilarious "muffin pod" for $1.99.
Kmart has a range of aluminium drink bottles for $6. Good to have on your desk, clip to your bike or slip into your gym bag. Available til 16 January.
Are you a creative type who enjoys sketching or keeping a visual diary? Aldi has A4, 120-page visual diaries with covers in five different colours for $2.99. I'm not sure what quality the paper is, but for $3 I'd be happy to risk it.
Also at Aldi is a 200-sheet pack of coloured copy paper for $3.99. Officeworks probably has it cheaper, but what I like about this one is that each pack has 20 sheets in an assortment of ten different colours. It's perfect for small craft projects, or printing off just a few documents, or even – gasp! – writing a letter to someone.
The good thing about back-to-school footwear bargains is that the stores know parents prefer leather school shoes over synthetics, so you can get some decent shoes really cheaply. Big Dubs has some cool-looking Bata Scouts black leather sneakers, styled a bit like Chuck Taylors in men's sizes 6-12, for $30.
The ladies' ones are styled like hipster plimsolls; they look a bit too much like jazz-ballet shoes for my taste, but they're $30 too.
If you prefer good old Dunlop Volleys, but in a more durable material than canvas so it doesn't make a hole where your big toe sits, Big Dubs has men's and ladies' leather Volleys for $35.
And since 'back to school' clearly means fine literature, Big Dubs also has some hilariously titled books that almost seem to parody themselves – Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus ($27.99); Man Drought by Rachael Johns ($29.99); and The Girl in the Hard Hat by Loretta Hill ($32.95).
I am not especially into 'farm lit', or 'rural romance' as I hear it is more properly called, but I was curious about Snow White Must Die. Turns out it was not based on a fairytale but is a fairly standard-sounding detective novel, whose characters include Pia Kirchhoff, Oliver von Bodenstein and Tobias Sartorius.