The last week of school holidays is often a stressful time for families as they prepare their children to go back to school.
Each child often has a long list of items to be bought and organized to be first-day ready. Some families may not be able to afford all the items on every child’s list, which can create frustration and tension at home.
Is back to school shopping making you anxious? Keep reading for the best school shopping tips to bring the fun back to your family’s back to school shopping trip.
1. Take an Inventory of Your Child’s School Supplies
The first tip for stress-free back to school shopping is to check what school supplies your children already have. Go through the house and search for any notebooks, pens, crayons, markers, and rulers.
Look inside of drawers, old school bags, and even toy boxes. Check items off your shopping list when you find usable supplies in your home. The more items you find, the less time and money you will spend shopping.
2. You Don’t Always Have to Buy New Clothes
Before you embark on your shopping trip, you should have your children try out their clothes and shoes from the previous school term. Some of the clothes might still fit, reducing the need for new outfits.
You could also consider swapping clothes with other parents whose child’s old clothes may fit your child. If you must buy new clothes, try and wait until the end of the season when items go on sale at throwaway prices.
3. Resell Old School Supplies
Consider selling any expensive equipment and supplies that your child will no longer be using. These include sports equipment, musical instruments, art supplies, and even clothes and shoes that are still in good condition.
Selling these items will get you extra money for shopping. At the same time, it’ll help with clearing your home from clutter.
4. Split Bulk Purchases
Purchasing supplies in bulk is a great way to save money when back to school shopping. But this may not be possible if you only have one child. A way to get around this is to make bulk purchases together with other parents.
You can split the cost of bulk buy using Venmo or PayPal. You could also buy the items on your card and have the other parents give you cash or wire you money for their part. Doing this will help you rack up points on your loyalty card and credit card.
5. Compare Prices to Get the Best Deal
Another great tip for those seeking school shopping help is to do some price research online before embarking on your shopping trip. Look up the prices of items on your shopping list from at least three different suppliers. Doing this beforehand will save you time as you will know which shops to buy from on the shopping day.
There are several smartphone apps that you can also use while shopping to scan barcodes and ensure you are getting the best price. Some stores will offer price match deals whereby they will match the prices listed on their online stores.
Other than price, you may also prefer a store because of its convenient location, great customer service, or wide range of products. You can also look out for shops that have sales or those offering the best Black Friday deal.
6. Consult With Your Child’s Teacher or School
Your child’s teacher or school can be a great help with back to school shopping. Most schools will have a class supply list that will list everything your child will need to succeed in class. Check with the school if it is necessary to buy items such as computers, calculators, tablets, or expensive books.
The teacher may also have tips on the best places to buy the school supplies that your child will need. They may also connect you with other parents that may want to swap school supplies or split bulk purchases, or they might also sell their children’s used items at a cheaper price.
7. Focus on Durability When Shopping
Another great tip for back to school shopping is to choose durability over price or fashion when buying school supplies. Cheaper items may seem like a bargain, but they will end up wasting your time and money. This is because you may have to buy replacements halfway through the school year.
Durable school supplies will last the whole year, and you could reuse them the following year. This creates less of a hassle for you.
8. Choose Ergonomic Backpacks
Your child’s backpack is one of the most important school supplies you will buy. They will use it every day to carry their books, equipment, and snacks.
The most important quality you should look for when shopping for a school bag is that it is easy on your child’s back. If your child’s daily load will be heavy, you should consider getting them a bag with wheels that they can drag around.
Regular backpacks should have wide padded straps and a padded back to make them easier to carry. Protecting your child’s back is more important than fashion or price, so consider this when buying a backpack. Also, choose a durable bag that will last at least one school year.
9. Spread Your Purchases
If you are working with a limited budget, consider spreading your purchases over the school year rather than buying everything at once. This will be more manageable for your pocket and less stressful for your family at the start of the school year.
You can also save a lot of money if you buy items whenever they are at their cheapest price. For instance, let’s say you go to a store and find that notebooks are bought one get one free. Buy the books and keep them until your child needs them.
You will have saved some money as compared to buying them full price at the start of the school year.
The Best Back to School Shopping Tips
Back to school shopping can be a pleasant experience when well planned. Spreading your purchases over the school year, buying durable items, and reusing supplies from the previous school year can all help keep your spending under control.
For more tips on saving money when you shop, read the rest of our blog.