No matter how much you tell yourself that you are prepared, there always ends up being some last-minute back to school shopping to do. Maybe you can’t avoid it entirely, but I have some ideas to help you get through the back to school shopping with a little less stress and on a budget.
Make a List!
First you will want to make a back to school shopping list. If you have a required supply list from your school, start with that. Make sure to check any supplies you may have on hand, or leftover from last year. I like to dedicate a cabinet and drawer to school supplies, so I don’t have to look all over the house. Make sure you check your own desk at home too. You might be able to find extra pens, pencils, or markers there. This should help make your back to school shopping list a little bit smaller.
Flyers and Coupons Are Your Friends!
Now that you have your ‘real’ list, check the newspaper flyers or online ads. At this time of year you can find some great deals and even coupons. While ‘Big Box’ stores offer good prices, don’t forget the office supply, drugstore and dollar stores, too.
Don’t Be Scared to by Used!
If you have active mom’s groups on your local Facebook pages, look at for sale or trade items. I always see good condition backpacks, lunch boxes, and even unused supplies. If there is anything on your back to school shopping list that your child does not need on the very first day, try waiting a little bit. Once all schools are back in session, the clearance deals at most stores are awesome- sometimes up to 80 or 90% off!
Hopefully you have some amazon or other gift cards on hand. Online back to school shopping can save you time and headaches. I know you can’t always find everything online, but try that first. Maybe you can cross a few things off that list!
Get a Sitter!
If you do have to venture out to the retail stores, ask grandma to stay with the kids, or find a babysitter. Not only can you get the back to school shopping done fast, you will probably save some money. If you bring the kids, they will always see something else that they want, so go solo and stick to your list. You will get the job done without losing your sanity!
Hopefully these tips will help those of us who still need to tackle back to school shopping. How do you save money at this time of year?