10 Tips to Make Back to School Shopping as Painless as Possible
Finance| | By Brian Delpozo
Back to school shopping can be overwhelming. Lists of supplies and books from teachers and school can seem daunting, and back to school sales at big box stores are often times incredibly crowded and suffocating. Fear not though parents, we’ve got 10 tips for you to make sure the process is as easy as possible.
Don’t Buy What You Don’t Need: Whether school supplies or simply clothing, often times you’ll have brand new items you don’t even remember buying hanging around the house already. Make sure to check every nook and cranny before going out and spending money.
Stick to Your List: Resist the urge (or your child’s urge) to make impulse purchases.
Stick to Your Budget: Similar to the list, make sure to set a budget and stick to it. If your kids are old enough, involve them. For example, explain that if they buy more expensive folders/notebooks with licensed characters they’ll be less money for that new backpack they’re eyeing.
Research to Find the Lowest Prices: Large stores like Target or Walmart will match competitor’s prices, including those from online stores. Staples is taking things a step further, not only matching prices but taking an extra 10% off those prices as well.
Skip the Crowded Sales and Shop Online Instead: As the budget tip above points out, getting your kids involved in back to school shopping can be a good thing. However if they’re too young, or don’t do well with crowds, it might be best to simply knock out your shopping online while they sleep.
Use Coupons and Discount Codes: Make sure to sign up for your favorite brand/store/retailer’s email list to take advantage of coupons and promotional codes. If you haven’t done so beforehand, make sure to try and Google some while you’re waiting in the checkout line.
Team Up With Other Parents: Sometimes it’s best to team up with other families and buying in bulk, especially on products like hand sanitizer and boxes of tissues.
Seasonal Clothing Boxes: Sites like Kidpik by Children’s Place, Kidbox, and others will deliver boxing of seasonal clothing each year for below retail price. The boxes can help put full outfits together, and the thrill of something new in the mail may inspire kids to try wearing something they otherwise wouldn’t.
Buy Extra Shoes: If you find the perfect pair of sneakers that your child just adores, definitely pick up an extra pair one size larger so that a mid-year growth spurt won’t leave you scrambling.
Go Big on the Backpack: Over the course of one or more school years, your child’s backpack is sure to get beaten up. It’s wise to go for a slightly more expensive brand that will hold up long, plus offer amenities like padded shoulder straps, and extra pockets. On top of that, high end brands like L.L. Bean offer lifetime warranties.
Using these 10 tips can make back to school shopping as painless as possible, and let your family enjoy the final few weeks of the summer without stress.