What You Need to Know Before Starting Your Back to School Shopping


Back to School Supplies

It’s that time of year again-back to school is right around the corner. I’m kicking off a four part series helping parents prepare their children for back to school. I’ll be giving a run down on what you need to know before beginning your back to school shopping, the best stores to shop at, the best ways to save money while shopping, and the items that should be on your back to school list.

As I kick off this series with what you need to know before beginning your back to school shopping, my goal is to make this time of year less stressful for parents. 

Dreading Back to School?

Back to school brings about mixed feelings. Some will be glad to have the kids back in school while others may be feeling a bit anxious since their little ones are going to school for the first time, as well as others have kids that are dreading the first day of school. All the feelings are normal but with a few tips back to school shopping could make going back to school not as dreadful and even become a fun experience.

Whether you have children attending school for the first time, kids entering another year in school or you have kids going off to college it can be a stressful time for parents and kids alike. Shopping for back to school supplies should not be one of the stresses you have to deal with.

Tips for Making Back to School Shopping Easier

Check the Weekly Ads

Store Advertisements

The ads can be your friend not only during the back to school sales but throughout the year. It will make it easier to create a game plan when on the hunt for certain items for school. If you don’t get a weekly paper that’s not a problem, jump online and take a look at each store’s ad. The stores may have the same item on sale but at different prices. (Check out the next part in my series which focuses on the best stores to shop at during the back to school sales).

Make a Shopping List

School List

One way to assure that you purchase all the items you need to buy for the first day of school is to make a list. This should be the master list for all your kids so you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything. If you’re like me a good old pen and paper are my preference for making lists but there are some great apps that can make your life much easier. A few suggestions would be Wunderlist (Android and iOS) and Remember the Milk (Android and iOS).

Grab the Deals as They Come

Check List

If you want to get the best deals grab them as you find them. Once you have a list of the items your child needs for the first day of school then you can purchase the items when the best deals become available. If the price is good, grab it!

Know Your Prices

My best suggestion is, have an idea of what the back to school items cost. Just because an item is advertised as a sale price doesn’t mean that it’s a good price. You can avoid overpaying on any item if you have an idea of what the base price is prior to shopping the sales. I have seen many “sale” prices at one store but when compared to the regular price at another store it’s still more expensive. If you’re looking for deals, then know your prices prior to shopping.

Utilize Store Pickup When Possible

If time is tight for you then keep an eye out for store pickup options. More stores are offering in-store pickup such as Office Depot/Max but be aware that not all stores will include their great sale items for pickup. I have noticed some stores such as Target and Walmart will have sale prices available for both in-store and online shoppers. Utilize the store pickup when available and that will save you time.

Make it Fun for You and the Kids

Build up excitement with your kids about shopping for brand new school supplies. If you create fun anticipation, your kids will be excited about picking out new items for school. Include your kids in making the list so they feel like they have some control over what they will be using in the fall. Perhaps even have your child make a list of items they would like to have when school starts. Talking to your children about the fun you’re going to have shopping together for new school supplies will help make the preparation for school a little less dreadful. Planning a special treat when your shopping is complete will also help bring excitement to getting ready to head to school.

No More Back to School Blues

The better prepared you are before you begin your back to school shopping the easier the shopping experiences will be for both you and your kids. If you have kids that are excited about heading back to school then being prepared will bring even more excitement for them. Getting ready for school doesn’t have to be stressful it can actually be a very fun experience.

Up next in the series: The Best Stores to be Shopping at During the Back to School Sales.

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