I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
August 5, 2019
This post is written in partnership with Amazon and contains affiliate links. All recommendations here are my own and I’m pretty excited to share them with you.
It’s back-to-school time, which means I’m hitting Amazon hard right now for all the last-minute things I need before the big day arrives. Luckily, Amazon has anticipated all our kids’ back-to-school needs, from electronics to clothing to school supplies to lunch snacks, and created a special Happy School Year page just for the occasion. It has tons of great ideas on all the coolest and most useful school-related items Amazon carries and it’s definitely worth checking out. Amazon also asked me to share some of my best back-to-school finds and anyone who knows me knows this kind of assignment is right up my alley. I have relied on Amazon over the years for a multitude of things I can’t find in stores and now I get to share all my best finds with you! Here’s a carefully curated list of my top Amazon back-to-school purchases. Full disclosure: I actually own every single one of these items and purchased them from Amazon with my own money.
Many schools now require students to use an iPad or laptop computer, and between these devices and all the fam’s phones, keeping everything charged and ready for school can be a full-on nightmare. Here’s our solution — The Hercules Tuff Charging Station Organizer. Someone on one of my Facebook groups recommended it a while back and I’m glad I noticed and ordered, because this little gadget has changed our lives for the better. It’s a really wonderful piece of equipment for families for several reasons — It’s heavy enough to stay put even when every slot has a gadget in it, the short USB cords ensure that no one steals any of them to use elsewhere, and a blue light on each divider indicates that whatever you’ve plugged in is actually charging, so you have that little added piece of mind when you plug it in. We once had a problem with the kids charging devices and leaving them on the floor where they could get stepped on — This charging station eliminates that issue. Trust me when I tell you it’s $40 very well spent!
We discovered NUCO Coconut Wraps over the summer thanks to a friend’s recommendation. I’ve only been able to find them on Amazon and I’m obsessed. They are ALL the things — raw, organic, vegan, paleo, gluten and grain-free, non-GMO, made with 3 ingredients, only 70 calories and just four net carbs each. I use them to make pinwheels and wraps for all of us and we all love them — They meet the needs of every single member of my family, and that’s saying something! I’ve already ordered a multipack this week for the kids’ upcoming school lunches.
I’m not sure how I ever survived without these reusable ice packs in my kids’ lunches — I now use them every single day and they really come in handy for those coconut wraps, as well as fruit, cheese, salami, yogurt, and drinks. These Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers fit perfectly in a child or adult-sized lunchbox. I also use them when we go to a place like the zoo or on a hike because they fit perfectly in my mini-backpack. LOVE. THEM. Totally worth buying.
When my kids began requesting my homemade soup in their school lunch boxes, I did a lot of research to find out what kind of container would keep it hot until lunchtime. The Thermos Funtainer got raves from reviewers — and now that I’ve had two of them for over a year, I have to agree that they are awesome. They’re the perfect size for a serving of soup or reheated leftovers from the night before — I’ve filled them with meatloaf, meatballs, lasagna, and chili and everything has stayed hot and yummy. They key is to pour boiling water in your Funtainer and let it sit for ten minutes before you empty it and refill with the heated-up dish. Do it this way and the contents really will still be nice and warm at lunch time! With the Funtainer, my kids’ school lunch options increased exponentially! There are tons of different colors and patterns to choose from, so consider getting a different one to match each of your kids’ personalities.
Self-care is more important than ever when the kids go back to school, which is why I’m including Jergens Brilliance Flawless Effects Body Moisturizer on this list. Ladies, this stuff is magical. It used to be called Jergens BB Body Cream and when they stopped making it last year, I was so upset I wrote an entire blog post about it. Thankfully, a reader recently alerted me that they have re-released this magical lotion under a new name. Thank God, because I tried every other ‘wonder’ lotion under the sun and nothing even came close. This moisturizer will make your skin look and feel like satin. I promise. I order it off Amazon every month — I haven’t seen it in any stores.
I bought a Dymo Letra-Tag Handheld Label Maker years ago and now I can’t live without it. I keep mine in the kitchen so I can pop a label on anything and everything and I use it all the time, especially during the school year. For just $16, you can type in anything you want and a self-adhesive label will instantly pop out of the device. I label lunches, folders, binders, storage containers in the fridge, and so many other things. You can also buy iron-on tape for your Dymo, which is really useful for the kids’ PE clothes and sports gear. There are fancier and more expensive versions of this label maker that you can connect to your computer, download fonts, and get highly technical, but honestly I love the simplicity and price point of this version. Highly recommended for every parent.
My dermatologist recommended Differin Gel for my teens’ breakouts and it does work wonders — but it’s super expensive when I buy it at the drugstore. Fortunately, I’ve found it on Amazon at a third of the price! You’d better believe I’ve stocked up for the school year, because pimples don’t fly in the classroom.
I’ve had an HP Envy 5055 for several years now and it’s by far the best printer I’ve ever owned. It rarely jams (and is super easy to fix when it does) and the quality of my printouts is consistently terrific — and as a homeschooling mom, I’ve used my printer A LOT. I also love HP’s Instant Ink subscription — For a few dollars a month, they automatically send me ink whenever my printer is running low. It’s very convenient and much cheaper than when I was buying ink on my own. Best of all, Amazon has my favorite printer available for just $49.89 right now! The price is so good that I went ahead and bought a new one a couple of weeks ago because with a new school year coming up, I’m not taking any chances!
A busy school year means time is of the essence — especially when it comes to making dinner. Amazon has a key ingredient for one of the quickest, easiest, best tasting dinners I can make. Allow me to explain. About 16 years ago, Dennis and I took a babymoon vacation to Seattle, where we ate at a wonderful restaurant called Etta’s. Etta’s is famous for its amazing ‘rub with love’ salmon — We ordered it, died over it, and were very excited to find that Etta’s was selling the exact same salmon rub used in the dish! Ever since, I’ve periodically ordered Rub with Love Salmon Rub from Etta’s online store, but recently I discovered that Amazon now carries it and I can finally get it shipped free and quickly, saving me time and money! Using the rub is super easy — I just rub it all over salmon filets and pop them in the broiler for 7-8 minutes. Done! Even better, Rub with Love contains no carbs and just 2 grams of sugar per serving, so it’s a great healthy option. Trust me when I tell you your whole family will love it, AND your main course will be ready in under 15 minutes, start to finish!
It’s never too early to come up with teacher gifts once the school year begins, and I’ve decided an Amazon gift card is the way to go. There are a number of reasons why:
You know I’m all about fun educational experiences for my kids — Well, two years ago, I ordered this Grow-a-Frog Kit for my kids and it was thoroughly awesome. We received a tadpole in the mail and got to watch it slowly grow into a frog — These particular tadpoles are see-through so you get to watch everything inside them transform, which is gross but awesome! Two years later, our frog, Jason Funderberker, is still alive and well and he has to be the easiest and least expensive pet to take care of, ever! I feed him five dot-sized pellets each day from a jar of fish food that will probably last me a year and I change his water about every two weeks. That’s it! Some of these frogs live to be 40 years old apparently (!!!), but they never get very big, so…. okay!
Now I want to know about your favorite Amazon finds. What can’t you live without now that you have it? What’s helping you get through the school year? Leave a comment and let me know!