Take the Sting Out of
Back to School Shopping

It's that dreaded time of year when we brace our wallets for back to school shopping. If the mere thought of hitting the mall and spending all your cash on back to school supplies fills you with anxiety, here are some tips to take the sting out of your back to school shopping experience.

1. Assess what you already have.

Rulers, art boxes, and binders are just a few of last year's items that can be used again this year.

2. Make a list.

 Once you have determined the items that must be purchased, be sure to take the list to the store, and stick to that list.

Most school lists are available on your school's website, or even in local school supply stores, such as WalMart or Staples.

3. Leave the kids at home.

By leaving the kids at home you will avoid having stressful in-store arguments for more expensive versions of required items, and all those fun extras. 

If you do have to bring the kids along, set the ground rules before leaving the house.  Everyone needs to be clear that the goal of the school supply shopping trip is to purchase needed items, not wanted items. 

4. Take a clothing inventory.

Parents can feel a great deal of pressure to buy a whole new wardrobe at the start of the school year. Inventory what you already have, and determine exactlywhat you need. Shop ONLY for what you really need. 

Big purchases are rarely necessary because students are typically wearing summer items such as shorts and t-shirts for the first month or so of the new school year.  (Christmas is just around the corner. Save expensive or winter items to give as gifts.)

5. Split the goods with a friend or two. 

Take advantage of bulk items like tissues, paper towels, bleach wipes, markers, etc. Then divvy up the supplies (and the costs) with other parents who have to purchase the same items. Everybody saves!

The start of the new school year can be stressful for both parent and child. By keeping the back to school shopping simple you will keep those stresses at bay and make more time for fun family time. 

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