Do you get the impression that kids believe we adults enjoy back to school season? While we may appreciate the fact that they may be heading back to school shortly and our home will once again enjoy some peace (and remain clean) for a few hours during the day (remember I work from home so they were in MY space), I assure you children, there’s no pleasure for us. Besides having to deal with your crappy behavior (and your compatriots in the mall) we have to miraculously find the budget to get you and your school bag outfitted. AND chances are you still have stuff you HAD To Have the last time around, tucked in your closet or hidden in a ball under your bed.
Though my brother and I shared a room growing up, we each had an assigned section in the wardrobe and we fiercely protected out clothing from each other, so though my daughters were around the same size, I never expected them to share stuff. But that also lead to problems, as it became a “I saw it first” kinda battle every store we’d hit… with the occasional department store fight.
- though my girls would get mad at me, at the end of every school year I would make them show me all the ‘binders’ and I’d do a quick look-over to see if they were good enough to keep. I HATE buying binders (3-ring) as they tend to chew-up the budget very quickly.
- go through their closets and wherever you store school supplies to see what there’s left from the previous school year. Luckily I kept all the school supplies in my office so it was easy to know what we had. I guarantee you, you will find a piece or two of clothing with the tags still on it, which they had to have the previous season
- make a list of all the ‘essentials’ you know they require and start with that. My girls attended public school so without an assigned uniform, clothing was as essential as their school supplies.
- I’d recommend checking flyers (circulars) before you head out and don’t be afraid to use coupons
- follow the major department stores on Twitter and other social media platforms as they usually announce suprise deals on there
- there’s nothing wrong with shopping at thrift and bargain stores
- when clothing shopping it’s obvious they have to be with you, but when shopping for school supplies (with list), I’d recommend doing so alone. They will find any and all excuses why they need stuff not on the list. And there’s NO need for that 80 pack of color pencils.. unless it’s a requirement for art class.
- set a budget for each child
- try to use cash instead of credit cards as it’s much easier to track.
- as my girls got older I’d even give them the cash to hold on to.. so they knew when their budget was dwindling down
- there’s no need to get everything all at once.. during the school year you can make adjustments
- buy in bulk, but consider if it’s something you KNOW will run out during the school year
- cheaper is NOT always better… learned this with school bags. You may have to spend a little more to get something which will last the entire year of abuse
- while we did have an agreement that they could get some trendy stuff (clothing), being practical also played a huge role in what came home
- out of season shopping.. there’s no reason why (especially with school supplies) you can’t buy stuff when it’s on sale and store it. Just make sure it’s stuff you know you buy every year.
I hope you find these back to school tips handy and do remember to make sure the high ticket items like back packs, winter boots and jackets comes with some sort of warranty and do register it, if it’s required. If you make purchases with rebates, act on them.. you’d be surprised how many people make purchases with the intention of claiming the mail in rebates and never do.
Share your back to school shopping tips in the comment section below.