As summer comes to a close and teachers begin to set up their classrooms, kids and parents start to look ahead towards the new school year as well. As parents, we have a lot to do to prepare our kids for the first day back to school. Taking them school shopping for some new clothing, backpacks and other essentials can be not only time consuming, but pricey. Here are a few tips that can help minimize time spent and money taken out of your wallet:
One at a time
If you have more than one child, it would be a good idea to focus on taking one child at a time to do their back to school shopping. Also, each child has their own style and favorite stores that they enjoy shopping, so by splitting up your trips you will better be able to cater to each individual child. Also, this will cut down on the number of stops you have to make in one day. Another idea would be to have your spouse taken one child to tackle their shopping, while you take the other. Perhaps even enlist grandparents or older siblings to help out as well! By doing this, it will take some of the stress off of one person.
Do your homework before you go
Before you head out to hit the mall or your favorite department store, gather up the sales fliers from each store from the previous week’s newspaper or check out their website to see what is on sale. Also, let your kids look at both the fliers and the websites to get an idea of different items they may want to try and find in store. Most of the time the items shown on the website and in the fliers are available at most stores.
Also, have your children try on their pants, shirts and shoes from the previous spring to see how much they’ve grown over the summer. If items are too small, you will know to go up a size while out shopping. This can save time in the dressing room!
Make sure you give you children an estimated budget too! Encourage them to look for deals and possibly incorporate some of the clothes they already own into their new fall wardrobe to help cut costs a little.
Use your best judgement
Some kids are very easy going when it comes to what they wear to school or what color their new backpack is. If you are lucky enough to have a child like this, see if you can do the majority of their back to school shopping by yourself. For example, if your son is into dinosaurs and you are in Target for other errands and see a neat dinosaur t-shirt in his size, why not just pick it up and bring it home to see if he’d like it for school in the fall? If not, simply return it to the store. As parents, we wash and fold our children’s clothes over and over again. This gives us a pretty good idea into the types of clothes our kids like to wear. Use this knowledge to your advantage and enjoy some solitary shopping for back to school items.
The internet is your friend
If you have Amazon Prime, you can easily get all of your back to school shopping done just online. Set each kid up on a mobile device and let them add items to their online shopping cart just like they would do if at a box store. If they are really young, ask them what kind of outfits they’d like to wear to their new classroom and simply do a search. If you are a Prime member, make sure the items are shipped by Amazon and within the Prime membership. In two days, you will receive your clothing items, and if they don’t fit or your child doesn’t like it, you can easily return them for free through Prime.
In addition to Amazon, many box stores offer great deals on bulked orders as well. For example, Target typically ships items over $35 or more for free within 2 days! Exchanges can be made in store too! The beauty of shopping online for back to school items, is that you can be sure to find your size and browse everything the store has to offer. The downside is that your child won’t get to see how they look in certain outfits or feel the material before purchasing it.
For more ideas on how to save money on school supplies go HERE.