It’s back to school time and stores are celebrating with sales from wall to wall. It’s tempting when you walk into a store and see bins of brand new supplies to feel a little overwhelmed but with the right plan you can get it done and still have a few dollars left over.
Focus on the big items, stock up on the small
Many stores are competitive when it comes to pencils, crayons and notebooks but a good deal on the best back pack or shoes can be hard to find. Take time to scout out the best prices and jump at the good sales. It’s a good idea to grab a few extra of the small items because once the back to school shopping ends the prices change dramatically.
Stick to the list
The list teachers provide is daunting enough so stick to just the essentials. See what your child has left over from last year and go from there. If they left the school campus with one remaining pencil last year or you had to run out mid-year and purchase more notebooks, maybe grab a few extra this year. Avoid anything decorative or too trendy. It may seem like a fun idea to fill your child’s backpack with items that look pretty but homemade personalization is much better than the locker décor available on the shelf. Some bright markers may be all you need to make your child feel unique.
Keep the receipt
You may be exhausted from hitting several stores, frustrated with your child’s pickiness or in a rush to get shopping done before that end of summer pool party you have to get to. Whatever the case, sometimes mistakes happen. Keep the receipt so you can return items that just don’t work. Some larger stores will also give you back the difference if an item you bought in the last 14 days is marked down.
Don’t fear used
If your child is growing like a weed, finding used items is a great idea. Get several moms together with kids of different ages and swap clothes before the school year starts. Make a stop at a local thrift store and let you kid go crazy finding the best hidden treasures. A few dollars saved on clothes could pay for an extracurricular activity later.
Whatever you end up shopping for don’t forget a plan—and don’t forget to snap a few photos of that first day back either. It’s always an adventure!