It's that time of year again! With summer winding down, children are preparing to start the new school year. More than likely, you've already received your children's back to school supply list and it's time to make sure that you equip them with everything that they will need to ensure success.
Here are a couple great back to school shopping tips that will help you stay organized and may even help you save some cash!
Before you go anywhere
With your school supply list in hand, the first place you should go 'shopping' is in your own home! In all likelihood, you already have a few things that are required, and you can strike them off your list without even pulling out of your driveway.
See what your child has left over from last school year (there is no need to re-buy things like art supplies or binders) and see if you can pull anything from your home's stockpile of office supplies. Pencils, pens, paper, tape, glue and folders might just be lurking around somewhere waiting for a use.
Preparing your child to shop
Once you have made a list of all the items that you actually must buy, it's a good idea to let your child take part in the shopping experience. It's true, shopping with a child can be a lot harder than shopping alone, but it provides valuable lessons that your child can't learn elsewhere.
Before you go, make sure that you manage your child's expectations. If they are old enough, help to teach them about the importance of a budget and explain to them that fancier items with cost more. If they understand the fundamentals of shopping on a budget, it will be easier to explain to them why they can't have the premium items.
Getting your children's school supplies
Before you head off to the nearest superstore, check your local paper. Many places will be stocking up on school supplies and you may be able to find a better deal at your corner drug store, overstock store or office supply store.
If you do find a good sale, think about stocking up. In all likelihood, you will need to replenish your child's school supplies throughout the year - this is especially true with art supplies and paper goods. Creating a small stash of these items at home could mean making less trips to the store in the future.
Stocking your kid's closet
This is also the time of year that many parents decide to pare through their child's clothing. This process can be a bit of a chore, but it needs to be done when you have growing kids.
The first step should always be to gather up everything that is worn out or no longer fits. This will help you to determine how much you need to purchase. Instead of throwing away the old clothing, consider donating it or passing it down to another family with a slightly smaller child.
As you look to replenish what your child's closet is now missing, don't be afraid to consider "new to me" options. In truth, children outgrow clothing quickly, so there is no need to spend a fortune on new apparel. See if you can get hand-me-downs from friends or shop for new clothes at thrift shops or garage sales.
If you do decide to shop at a superstore or department store for your child's clothing remember to check your local papers for sale advertisements and back to school coupons that run rampant this time of year.
If you have a child that has already graduated from high school, you probably don't need to help them too much with their shopping anymore. Just make sure that they know how to save money on their auto and renters insurance policies by calling Frimark/Keller & Associates at 847-907-4520.