What’s The Secret To All-Star Back-To-School Shopping?
If you’re anything like us, it feels like summer just started. However, looking at the calendar the dog days of summer will soon be winding down. Before you know it, you’ll be back in the lunch-packing, homework-checking, scurrying-out-the-door-for-the-bus routine.
If you’re even more like us, then you’re starting to look around for deals on school supplies. If you’re going to do it, you want to do it right. The lists of requirements seems to be growing by the year, and prices definitely aren’t getting any cheaper. And whose children need another fresh supply refresh mid-year? We know that’s the case for us.
Spending tons of money in July and August isn’t ideal when you’ll be forced to replenish broken crayons and dried-out glue in January. To ease your way back into the school schedule and to provide relief to your pocketbook, we’ve listed the best advice given to us by the most school supply shoppers in Fort Worth.
- Get the list early
As soon as your list becomes available from the school, get it and start looking for deals. Not everything on your list comes from the Back-to-School section at Target. For items like Kleenex, hand sanitizer or wipes, look out for deals that may not correspond directly with back to school. If you find paper products for a steal, for example—or cheaper options at retailers like Costco—go ahead and stock up. You’re unlikely to find a teacher who would ever turn down Kleenex and Clorox bleach wipes during flu season if you really end up with a surplus.
- Factor in your kid’s personality
Everyone has their favorite school supplies. Whether it’s the super-expensive mechanical pencil or the box of 100 uniquely colored crayons, kids want what they want. In order to streamline, consider going alone so you won’t have to quibble over the number of Magic Markers. A few weeks into school, many supplies have been integrated together in a classroom, so choosing the biggest pack or coolest extras might not be meaningful anymore. And for older kids school supply shopping can be a great lesson in budgeting. Tell them their budget and guide their selections to ensure everything is checked-off the list. Offer them the option to keep their savings for an added smart-shopper incentive.
- Be a savvy shopper
If you don’t have time to get lost sifting through folders at Wal-Mart or Target, consider using your digital prowess to minimize stress and maximize efficiency. Most large retailers have apps that allow you to fill up your basket and have it waiting for you at the store—or even shipped to your house. Don’t forget about online retailers like Amazon, too.
For added savings, put all the supplies in your cart and let them sit for a few days. Many times you’ll start to see sales or discounts pop up in your email that are meant to incentivize you to purchase. The best part is that you never have to leave the house!
- Work with your school
Many schools will offer PTA fundraisers that take all the hassle out of school supply shopping. Simply write a check and your student’s supply magically (or at least, that is how it feels) shows up on the desk the first day. For families who are traveling much of the summer or are new to the area, this can relieve a significant amount of stress.
Follow these tips to score great deals on school supplies. If you have any strategies or see great deals, share with us on our Facebook page. We would love to help all our patients ease back into the school year!
Also published on Medium.