It’s almost time to go back to school and that means it’s time to begin back-to-school shopping. Every year, new and improved school supplies appear on store shelves that kids “just have to have,” making this industry a very profitable one. However, for you as a consumer, it can mean spending more money on your shopping trip than you had originally budgeted. What do you do?
- Budget. First of all, set your school supplies budget and stick to it. There are specific items that your child will need to be successful during the school year, and the school will provide you with a list of those items. Have an honest talk with your child about budget, including what he or she really needs vs what he or she wants. That said, it’s a great idea to allow your child to have a say in which notebooks or backpack you buy (as long as they fall within budget and school specifications). This way everyone gets what they want.
- Sales. Thankfully, many stores have back-to-school sales so you can save money on the necessary purchases. You can also visit the dollar store: the teacher’s secret weapon for being well-stocked up on school supplies.
- Buy in bulk. Wholesale stores such as BJ’s and Costco are great for buying school supplies in bulk, which can save you not only money, but time, since shopping trips to replace items are reduced. Don’t think you’ll need 400 pencils? Put in a group order with other parents on a site like U.S. School Supply and share the savings.
- DIY. A great way to personalize school supplies is to do it yourself. Help your child design his or her own notebooks, pencils and labels that reflect his or her individual personality. Doing this will promote spending quality time together making the supplies, and you’ll spend much less than if you went out and bought all the fancy novelty pieces in the stores. For crafting tips, visit Pinterest.
Once you have gotten all of the required items for your young learner, and if you have some money left over in the budget, consider buying some of the things that he or she wants, especially if you think they will help create a fun learning environment.
Happy back-to-school-prepping and we look forward to seeing you all soon!
When school shopping, how do you handle distinguishing between what your child wants and what he or she really needs, while keeping everyone happy and within budget? Let us know on our social media pages.