Smart Back to School Time
A new school year always presents a challenge for parents: getting kids ready for school and shopping for all the school supplies. Considering the preparations that need to be made before school opening, teamwork between parents and children is a must.
It’s always helpful to start your back-to-school shopping with a game plan. Whether or not your child’s teacher has provided a list of school supplies, you can never go wrong with the basics when shopping. With some planning plus back to school sales, you are sure to be school-ready.
Follow the strategies below and this golden rule: make a list of essentials, stock up on the basics, and take advantage of back to school sales.
BEFORE YOU SHOP
Sit down with your child and go over your list of essentials together. Determine your child’s immediate needs: is it a new pair of shoes, a new backpack, long sleeve shirts, or a new laptop? Spend on those items first, and plan on budgeting for the rest later in the year. While you’re at it, teach your child how to get organized, a life skill that he/she will be using for the rest of her life.
Sort through last year’s supplies to see what is left over or can be reused. Before you hit the stores, go over your child’s closet. Make sure you’re not buying something they already have! Take the time to check items that are still in good condition. Or better yet, make them try their clothes on to see if they still fit well. Once you have done that, you can then plan on buying items that can easily be mixed and matched.
Set a budget and stick to it. With back to school sales and promotions, it’s easy to get tempted to buy unnecessary stuff. Decide on a budget for each of the following: clothing, supplies and gadgets. By sticking to a budget, you can prepare your children for another school year without breaking the bank.
Shop early and start with the basic school supplies when shopping. Buy basic supplies such as paper, pencils, and notebooks in bulk. It’s important to buy essentials first to avoid overspending. Hold off on anything that is more of a treat than a necessity — they will most likely be cheaper later!
Look for special promotions and Thursday sales. Right before the school year begins, many stores have back-to-school sales. Take advantage of special promotions. There will always be free-shipping items and useful “two for one” deals. Also, many department store sales begin on Thursday through Sunday. A trip to the mall on a Thursday can produce great savings for you!
If you shop online, use a coupon code and/or a cash back site. Sites like Savings.com can help you find the best coupon codes and sales online. Some stores offer coupons in their sales flyers or on their websites so make sure you check your favorites online to get great deals.
After shopping, set up a supply shelf or storage container in your kid’s room for school stuff. This is especially helpful when you buy in bulk, and should be a permanent place that will be used all school year. Anytime you run out of notebooks, pens or folders, you won’t have to run to the store because it’s all in your supplies shelf.
With a well-planned back to school shopping strategy, you can be sure that you’re on your way to a smooth, stress-free new school year!