Do you dread going to your local discount chain for back-to-school shopping? Do you get tired of screaming children and impatient salesclerks? Are you sick and tired of being bumped and tripped? Are you just plain tired? And when there are no more Sponge Bob 3 ring binders left? What are you to do?
Well, back-to-school shopping, regardless of how many tips you have, is not going to be fool-proof. But maybe there are some things you can do to be prepared to make your quest for obtaining all the needed school supplies much more tolerable.
First, DON’T FORGET THE LIST FROM SCHOOL! I can’t emphasize this enough. If you don’t have the list of items that the school requires for your child, then you might as well not even try to fill up that book bag. Your child certainly isn’t going to be much help, as he would only lead you to buy many more expensive items and not even the ones you need. Don’t trust your child. You must first get this list.
We’re not even going to address shopping for back-to-school clothing. That’s something you should do separately from the shopping trip for classroom supplies. Trying to combine both in the same outing is enough to push any parent over the edge. So, just GET THE LIST and focus on this shopping trip. Now, let’s move on to my second tip.
Second, TRY to Discourage your children from going shopping with you. Seriously, you will be so much more efficient and so much less stressed if you can accomplish this feat. However, we know how kids are, and they probably want to help pick out their school supplies. Or perhaps you don’t have anyone to watch them while you’re gone to the store. If you must take them, you must, but give them some ground rules before, such as how they are to behave, what choices they will have, and, last, but not least, remind them who controls the pocketbook!
Third, go to dollar stores first. Often, you can get items much cheaper at dollar stores than even at your local supercenter. You might buy a ream of paper for a dollar that would cost two or three times that at another store. After you’ve purchased what you can at the dollar store, then make the trek over to the supercenter where hundreds (well, it seems like hundreds!) of other children are shopping for school supplies with their parents. While shopping at the dollar store does cost you an extra tip, at least you will have alleviated the stress of a huge bill that is detrimental to your budget.
One other option is to bypass the stores altogether and shop online. It may be possible to get all the supplies you need from online stores such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Course Smart, Crazy 8, Barnes & Noble, Discount School Supply or even Amazon. And if you want to get latest back to school coupons & deals for those online stores, CouponSnapshot will help you. However, if your kids are like most, then they will probably want you to just take THE LIST and go to the store with you to pick out all the coolest school supplies available. So, get your chin up and just do it! Get that list, get organized, and get those supplies!