July 14, 2015

Back-to-School Shopping Tips

It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks many of our children are going to be heading back to school. For me, the summers usually go by slowly, giving us plenty of time to enjoy the long warm (and hot) days, but this summer flew by so fast that I’m still wondering where I was when it was here!

In fact, I’ve been so laid back this summer, not paying attention to the days as they came and went, that I just now found out when my son’s school is back in session. I’ve got about 3 ½ weeks to get ready for it! That may sound like a long time, but these next three weeks are crammed full of activities. Thankfully, over the last couple of years I’ve learned a few ways to same time (and money) in regards to the back-to-school shopping.

1. Don’t shop the day you get “the list.” When my oldest started the 3-year old program at our local school, I was so excited about shopping for his supplies that I went to Wal-Mart, grabbed the supply list, and jumped right in with all the other excited moms. While I got most of everything I needed, it took me longer than it should have and I left tired and frustrated after fighting all the people. Ever since then, I get the list and take it home where I can look it over and come up with a back-to-school shopping plan of attack! (I take the time to look through store flyers and make several lists for the stores that have various items on sale.)

2. Don’t go with the kiddos. If you are shopping for young children, then consider getting the bulk of the shopping done when they aren’t with you. Sure, they will want to pick out things like their backpacks and lunch boxes, but for the other stuff like crayons, glue, paper, etc. they don’t have to be there. I’ve found that it’s easy to get the school shopping done when my kids aren’t there distracting me. Therefore, I go when my husband is home from work in the evening and it goes MUCH faster.

3. Shop online. While I’m a huge fan of shopping online, I’ve actually never purchased school supplies online before. However, I have a friend who did it for the first time this year and she raves about how simple it was for her to do. She did it one evening when the kids were in bed and a few days later the box showed up at her front door. I am seriously considering this option this year just to save myself the time and frustration back-to-school shopping usually brings. Plus, sometimes you can find better deals when you shop online than in a store.

Those are the ways that I save myself time and money during the craziness of back-to-school. Do you have any additional tips you’d like to add?