When back to school season comes around, so does all the stress. There are about a million things to worry about. Who is their new teacher? What time is the bus coming? What school materials do they need? And, most importantly what new clothes or school supplies do they need? Most likely your kids will either whine about being dragged out to shop, or eagerly fight through the crowds– pushing almost everything into the cart. Take a deep breath and remember that there are ways to keep your money, time and sanity in check.
Here are some ways to help you get organized this year:
1) Your kids are constantly growing and while you think their clothes from last year might still fit, they might not. In early August, have your kids do a fashion show for you to see which clothes still fit and which ones you can give away. (Tip: Let your little girl wear make-up while she is doing it and she’ll be at it for hours.) Boys might need a little more bribery for this and you might need to spread it out over several nights. However, now you can make your list of what clothes, shoes, backpacks, and other accessories you need.
2) Shopping for summer clothes during the Back to School season is always more expensive. Retail sales for summer clothes usually starts at the end of July- to save some money stock up on those for next summer, especially bathing suits. I don’t know about you but right after I buy jeans for my son in August, he grows an inch. Tip: Make sure you keep the receipts, so you can exchange. I’ve learned to shop for his jeans in late September. There are usually better sales and hopefully he’ll have done his sprouting for the year.
3) Also, remember to write your kid’s name on the tag of their coat/jacket. backpack, lunch bag, etc. Stuff always gets lost but you might have a better chance of reclaiming it from the school Lost and Found box this way.
4) If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids or a lot of friends with kids different ages, suggest a clothes swap. Have all the Moms over for some chocolate cake. Tell them to bring their kids gently used clothes and see if you can swap. Even if there’s no one the right size to switch with, you had some fun with the neighbors. Set up a Yahoo Group and have your friends and neighbors list their sizes before the swap meet.
5) Considering how active kids are, they’ll most likely need new shoes. Their feet can swell up to half a size more during the day, so trying on shoes during the evening or early morning can save you another trip back to the store.
6)Waited too long to get the school supplies and now the shelves at Target are bare? Make life easier for yourself and buy your supplies online at sites like www.write-stuff.com. If your school is listed with them you can easily access the school supply list. If not, they have some generic supply lists by grade so you can have it all shipped to your door. What could be easier? You won’t get distracted by pretty folders and erasers at the store either. Stick to what you need!
So relax, take a deep breath and bring on the Back to School Season!
Want to read more on back-to-school bargains? Click here!