Back To School Basics: Tip #2 Shopping For School Supplies

When it comes to shopping for school supplies, the rule is to keep it simple! Shopping for school supplies can sometimes be overwhelming, costly and not to mention, time consuming! With school fast approaching, shopping for supplies can be stressful, especially for parents with multiple children. Here are some tips to take the challenge out of juggling multiple lists, requests and expenses. 

Keep a Copy of Supply Lists With You: Was that a 1 subject or 3 subject notebook? Take the guesswork out of school supply shopping by sticking a copy of your child's supply list in your pocketbook or wallet.  Before you head out to the store, check off any items that you may already have at home. Go green by reusing backpacks, pencil cases, folders, gently used art supplies from last year. Next, check store circulars for sales on the items you specifically need. Review the list for specific colors, sizes or quantities as you are shopping. This will limit any purchasing errors and reduce store returns. Physically check off items as soon as you purchase them. To avoid over spending, inform your child that you intend to stick to only those items which appear on the teacher's list.

Avoid Gadgets & Optional Items:  Once again, stick to the list!!! Those cute accessories and gadgets are hard to resist, but are they really necessary?  All those extra purchases really add up! Try to avoid those fancy gadgets in order to reduce costs, reduce distractions, and reduce the amount of "stuff" your child needs to manage. All that extra baggage simply makes it more challenging for kids to stay organized, and many gadgets are tempting to play with during class. Any optional items that are listed on school supply lists can be purchased at a later date. You may find that your child doesn't even need them.

Shopping Bag Organization: Managing school supply purchases is not an easy task, especially if you have multiple children. Try this simple solution. Assign a large shopping bag, preferably with handles, one for each child. Label each bag with your child's name and attach a copy of his/her supply list to the outside of the bag. Place any items you already have at home directly into the bags. Cross items off the attached supply list as soon as they are placed in the bag.  Repeat this procedure for every store purchase that you make until supply lists are completely crossed off.  Simply label the supplies, repack them in the shopping bag, and send the bag to school.

See the complete article Simplifying School Supplies at for additional tips to save time, money and your sanity while shopping for school supplies.

See the Little Ones Back to School Special Feature at for more valuable advice to get this year off to a great start!


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