It’s that time of year when parents are realizing that summer is ending and back to school is right around the corner. I’m a little bit of an anomaly in that I love shopping for school supplies (I know, I’m a freak)! Cruising with my cart full of cranky kids down those colorful aisles and sipping my coffee fills me with a child-like glee. If you don’t get that same thrill, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Be a little more Zen for this year’s shopping trip with these 5 tips to help you love shopping for school supplies.
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1. Set Ground Rules Before You Go
No doubt your kids are going to want that crazy expensive talking R2D2 replica backpack. Can you blame them? That thing is sweet! Oh wait, but they also need that holographic set of folders that are going to fall apart in two months, the scented markers with funny faces, and the My Little Pony glitter erases that will be lost before school even starts… Suddenly you have a cart full of hundreds of dollars’ worth of supplies!
Prevent this by letting your children know before you even head to the store what the ground rules are. Kids always do better with clear-cut rules and expectations and it will save you a headache at the store. Some ideas to help you are:
- Set a dollar limit for their backpack.
- Let them splurge on one item, like special markers or notebooks, but let them know that you will be choosing all of the other items.
- Go over their list with them before you leave and point out requirements like regular number 2 pencils versus mechanical ones.
2. Order Technology Supplies Online
While I personally do not understand a grade school student needing a flash stick (apparently I’m old) it still appears on that set-in-stone list of school supplies. Don’t buy these at a brick and mortar store. You can get much better deals on things like flash sticks, headphones, etcetera at sites like Amazon.
- For your own sanity, be sure to get a flash drive that is a keychain. This will allow it to be clipped to their backpack or binder to help prevent it being lost.
3. Don’t Buy Into the Hype: Wait to Buy
Other than those items you plan to order online, wait until right before or right after school has started to buy their supplies. Store always overstock school supplies items and the prices drop significantly mid to late August. This means significant savings for you (bonus savings if your child doesn’t start school until September).
4. Prepare for Next Year Now
Once September gets here you will be able to score basics like crayons, folders, and pencils for literally pennies. Go ahead and stock up on these items now and you’ll save even more come next year’s shopping trip.
5. Treat Yourself
Congratulations! You survived this year’s back to school shopping trip! Treat yourself to a coffee or some pretty new post-it notes for a job well done. Having a prize at the end will help you to have more patience and be less stressed during your shopping trip.
These tips will help get you through the stressful back to school shopping season. If you take advantage of tip number 4 you will be able to avoid it altogether next year. Before school gets in full swing, make your life easier by getting organized. Don’t worry. We have tips to help you organize your life from A to Z!