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Back to school shopping is no fun when you are an adult.
Fighting with the crowds, leaving the store without an item (or two) from the school supply list and spending more money than you anticipated makes the experience miserable.
This year I enter my 11th year as a school counselor and I have 2 school aged children.
I’ll admit that even though I’ve been in education for awhile, it was a whole different story when my kids started school.
While I was offering suggestions to parents about their children, I never thought about taking my own advice!
Here are a few simple tips I’ve learned that will make your back to school shopping experience easy (and not miserable!)
Download the back to school shopping list early
Most schools require their staff to make a list of needed supplies at the end of the school year so it will be ready to go by Open House. Check out the school’s website for an updated list for the school year at the end of the year (and if it’s not available you can check periodically throughout the summer).
When you know what’s on the list before everyone else, you can do your back to school shopping at your leisure during the summer and put all the items away until it’s time to go back to school!
Insider School Counselor Hack: You can also just look at the list from the previous year. Not much will change and you can get the bulk of your shopping done early!
Take Advantage of Sales & Buy Clothes During the Summer
I have 3 kids, so shopping sales gives me more bang for my buck.
I also use to work retail, so I know that all prices eventually come down. I’m that girl that sees an outfit I love and will watch it until it’s the price I want. There’s no shame in holding on to as many of your coins as possible!
Since Amazon Prime now includes a pantry, I often order snacks for my family in bulk.
This is especially convenient for back to school shopping because while everyone else it out shopping, I wait for my boxes patiently at my doorstep. Win, win!
And Amazon has near 100 school supply items under $5!
If you are looking for items for your multiracial family, let me help! I’ve got a store front with organized categories WITH YOU IN MIND. Check it out here.
Wait Two Weeks Before School Before Buying New Shoes
When my daughter was in PreK, I found several good sales and I stocked up on shoes.
Sounds like a smart thing to do right?
My daughter was going through a rapid growth spurt, so she only got the wear the new shoes for a couple of months before I had to buy new ones. Sometimes growth spurts are unpredictable, so make sure to do your back to school shoe shopping closer to when school actually starts to avoid having to buy new shoes again so soon.
If you have more than 1 child, check out stores that offer buy one get one 50% off.
Stock Up on Teacher Wish List Items
Why do teachers ask for so many items? Well, some of their students cannot afford the necessary items, let alone the wish list items. Good teachers will not let their students be without, so those items come from their personal pockets.
We all know that being a teacher is a commendable job, but the pay doesn’t reflect the amount of work they put into their students and classrooms. When you gift your child’s teacher with wish list items throughout the year, you are investing in your child’s classroom experience.
Simple things like having extra tissue ensures that kids have what they need while at school and are spending less time outside of class to ask another teacher for an item that their teacher doesn’t have.
Insider School Counselor Hack: Stock up on toiletry items (tissue, hand sanitizer, etc) and keep in a well known location in your home. Send the items throughout the year instead of having to buy them over and over. If you have elementary children, buy your child’s teacher a book or two to add to the class collection. Then volunteer to read the book! Find a book that is diverse in nature.