5 Back To School Shopping Tips
Back-to-School Shopping means it is time to stock up on the school essentials like backpacks, lunchboxes, binders, glue sticks, crayons and more. I have 5 Back To School Shopping Tips to keep you in-budget and sane!
Back to school shopping is so much easier for me than it has been in the past. As my kids get older, the lists for school supplies are shorter! My son is in high school and he told me he needs pencils and a couple of notebooks. That is all he wanted. These days, most high school have students submit all their documents and papers online.
My youngest daughter will be attending a private school this year and while she did receive a list of supplies to bring to school, it was relatively short. In fact, this list was much easier to shop for than the lists we have had in the past for our private home school consortium. My oldest daughter will still home educate with me, but she will not be attending the consortium, so I literally don't have to shop for her.
So, back to school shopping this year was so easy! My kids were all super easy going about it and there was not one bit of stress involved. The only issue I had was back to school clothes shopping because my daughters always had to wear uniforms previously.
Being a home educator for the past seven years has allowed me to let my kiddos wear whatever they pleased all day long. Ont he days that they attended consortium, they had to wear a uniform. Since my youngest daughter will be attending a private school, she needed actual clothes to wear. She was so excited to go back to school clothing shopping as her school does impose a few clothing parameters that need to be followed. No Jeans, no shorts, no short skirts, no leggings or jeggings and no yoga/sweat pants. So we were in search of "pants" for girls.
We were on vacation for the first couple of weeks of August so we missed the back to school rush and crowds at all the big box stores. I feel as if I have this back to school shopping down to a science as I have been doing it for the past 10 years. Based on all my years of experience, I have 5 Stress Free Back To School Shopping Tips that have always helped me. I wanted to pass on my knowledge and experience for any newbie parents to make your lives so much easier during this time and I am sure they will help you as well.
5 Stress Free Back To School Shopping Tips
Shop At Home
This year we shopped at home for a lot for the supplies we needed. As a home educator, I have loads of ready supplies sitting on shelves from previous years. back to school shopping can be very expensive and if we can recycle any items on the school lists, we certainly do this first. We are recycling backpacks, pencil cases and a few binders this year. You really do not want to buy something you already have if it is only gently used.
Buy In Bulk
During the back to school rush, stores usually have great sales on school supplies. I always purchase more than I need. When the list calls for one box of 24 crayons, I always purchase two. Why? One box of crayons never last the entire school year. I would rather spend the extra money now, when the item is on deep discount than half way through the school year at full price, which is usually more than the sale price of two. I purchase double of crayons, loose leaf paper, notebooks, and glue sticks. I actually purchase three times the amount of pencils because for some reason, we go through A LOT of pencils. In addition, even if you do not use all the extra supplies you purchased, these items will be on the school supply list the next school year.
Look For Deals
I always look at the ads and shop around and compare prices. I usually make a list ahead of time as to what store has the best price for the specific items we need from our school lists. Whether these items are from big box stores, local grocery or convenience stores or even sometimes, I can find better deals online. We usually end up going to three different locations to garner the best deals on back to school supplies to fulfill the lists needs. Remember to print or save coupons ahead of time and be ready at checkout. I would caution getting school supplies at the dollar stores. I can safely say that you will not save money purchasing pens and crayons there. The crayons break as soon as you use them and the pens leak like crazy. Save yourself time, energy, grief and money and just purchase the name brand items, while they are on sale. These items really do last!!
Make a list of items you need for your child for appropriate clothes and don't forget the back to school supply list provided by the school. I have the back to school list the school provides and my lists of stores to visit to get the best prices on the supplies. Once you have your items, you can begin checking off the items on all your lists. Additionally, STICK TO THE LIST! Do notwaste the money on items that are not on the school supply list. The extra supplies may seem so adorable to your children at the time of purchase, but they will likely not be used if they are not on the list. Also, they may take up much needed space in small desks and lockers.
Sales Tax Holiday
If you live in a state that has a Sales Tax Holiday, I happen to think you are so lucky. We do not live in a state that offers a Sales Tax Holiday to residents. We also happen to live in a state that has one of the highest sales taxes in our nation; so tax full advantage of these days that are offered if you do live in a state that offers this perk.