Every parent could use a few back-to-school shopping tips right about now. This can be one of the most hectic times of the year for both you and your child. From fighting the crowds at the stores to playing scavenger hunt with the items on each child’s school supply list to appeasing the fashion sense of each child when it comes to clothing, just a couple of shopping trips can send the most same parent to a therapist’s couch.
Fortunately, with just a little planning and ingenuity, back to school shopping can be much less of a nightmare. GreatSchools.org offers these helpful tips for making back-to-school shopping a breeze for everyone, so that the kids can concentrate on getting back down to business and YOU can concentrate on getting some much-needed R & R:
Make Life Easier With These Back-to-School Shopping Tips
LISTS ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS
Before you step foot out of the house to look for that perfect book bag or those “must have” new shoes, sit down and do some brainstorming. Start off by writing down anything and everything that comes to mind that may be necessary to start off the school year ahead. Include any supplies that are on your child’s classroom list, as well as any items your child has specifically requested. Once you have an all-inclusive list made, separate the necessities required for the classroom as they are definite items to be purchased. Next, separate the “wants” from the “needs”, and add the “needs” to the permanent list. Now, sit down with your child and discuss the items on the “wants” list. Explain that these are not necessities and ask your child to choose a specific number of these items – depending on your budget – that they would most like to have. Add those to your permanent list. Now you are ready to shop. Do not deviate from this list or you will likely find that you simply wasted your time in making it.
ONCE YOUR PERMANENT LIST IS MADE, TAKE INVENTORY
Yes, half the fun of back-to-school time (the ONLY fun, according to some kids!) is shopping for new things. But as keeper of the Pocketbook, that can be the least favorite part for parents. Once you have your permanent list of needs compiled and before you mane the first trip to the department store or mall, take the list and go on a scavenger hunt around the house to see if you already have any of the items on hand. When it comes to back-to-school shopping, especially if you have more than one child, every penny counts, so save when and where you can.
BUY IN BULK AND SHOP EARLY WHEN YOU CAN
Items that are going to be needed throughout the school year, such as notebooks, folders, loose leaf paper, pens, pencils, etc, can be bought in bulk during back-to-school sales when everything is at it’s cheapest. Take advantage of these low prices so you don’t get stuck spending a lot more in the off season when your child will inevitable need these items. Also, pick up an item or two here and there throughout the summer months to put back and have on hand as extras for the school year. Things like calculators, markers, crayons, poster board, etc., can be found at deep discounts during the summer months when no one is even thinking about returning to school yet!
Taking just a bit of time to get organized before heading out to do school shopping can save a great deal of time, money, and sanity.