There is a part of me that dislikes back to school shopping in August as much as the thought of wearing shoes and socks again, instead of flip flops. I am a summer girl! But the reality is faster than you can say beach day, the new school year is upon us. Here are some tips from a great source on how to save money and make the most of your back to school shopping experience.
The folks at Organized Home suggest starting early (I guess now is early enough, even though the back to school sales started right after 4th of July- a sign of summer time blasphemy in my book). First things first, know what you need and know what you have. Retailers can make back to school supplies appear like candy these days. Before grabbing every sales item in sight, make sure you have the actual school supply list from your child’s teacher or school in hand. If one did not come home with you on the last day of school or get mailed out, check your school’s website. Also many stores have in- house school supply lists for their customers. So when you become the harried mother or father who forgets their list, don’t fret!
Know what you have in your house. Chances are there are at least a few items from last year that you still have that can be used this year. Make double use and double time of those gently worn little scissors from last year’s pencil box. Use last year’s pencil box! Also, some people stock up. When those cheap crayons offers and paper offers occurred, perhaps you grabbed four or five from the store last year. See if you have some of what you need in your stash. Develop a stash of those items that you will need more of throughout the year. I know my children seem to go through glue sticks like they are food in their classroom.
Keep to your budget! There is a lot of bling and blang to go with every shopping experience out there. There is a lot of marketing behind the scenes for your hard earned dollar. Shop with your list in hand and stick to the list. Remember a word that comes in handy when you are at the store with your children: “No!”
Shop around. Every store is in on the action this time of year. Big box store one is vying with big box store two to lure you in on the deals. Know what and where the deals are!
Lastly, consider shopping late ( –Within reason of course). A few days before school starts, the stores will be marking down their back to school items. For items that you will consistently need throughout the year (think loose leaf paper, folders, pens, crayons, glue sticks) this is the time to stock up. Smart shop and save money and time….now back to the beach!