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Efficient Back to School Shopping

I remember often dreading the start of a new school year, but one thing I always did enjoy was going back to school shopping with my Mom!  Now that I have a daughter of my own, I am looking forward to the day that I get to take her back to school shopping.  Here is a list of 3 easy steps on how to make your back to school shopping efficient and enjoyable for all:

Step 1: Determine what’s needed (supplies, clothes, lunch staples, new sports season equipment, etc.)  Get out a notepad and create a list.  Be sure to check your school’s website for a grade-level supply list if you’re not sure what to buy.

Step 2: Clean out your kids’ current closets, drawers and desk to see what you already have that still fits and will work for the upcoming school year, or at least for the start of the school year.  You can use this information to complete your list so you know exactly what you still need to buy.  By taking time to go through the items you already own, you may end up saving yourself a good deal of money by not buying duplicates of things you already have that will still work.  Check out local store websites for sales and specials for the items needed.

Step 3:  Plan a time to shop.  Choose a day and time that works well for you and your kids.  If you have more than one child, it might work best to take one child at a time.  This way your kids won’t be fighting for your attention.  Make sure you have eaten something before you go (even more important to feed the kids – shopping with hungry children is no fun for anyone!), so you have energy to get everything checked off your list. If you are planning to go to multiple stores, try grouping your errands together by location to save on time and gas.  Stick to your list to avoid impulse buys and unnecessary spending.  Keep your receipts until after items are worn or used and statements are reconciled to ensure no returns are needed or corrections made.

This is a great week to get your back to school shopping done. Wait to long and supplies are picked over or not available, making more trips to the store than originally planned necessary. Get out there now while the selection is still good and before its down to a “last minute” task. You’ll save time and money, and feel a lot less stress.

Happy shopping!

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