August is the time of year where everyone starts to think about school again. You had a nice June and July to relax and the summer is winding down. One of the most stressful parts of going back to school can be the shopping that is required to get ready. Whether it be finding a few new outfits, buying some supplies, or getting those required text books, everyone going back to school needs to get something. As I grew up I found that my back to school shopping trends began to evolve and change as I moved through grades.
Here are some tips and tricks I have learned along the way for your back to school shopping.
1. Make a List
Every time I went back to school shopping either my parents or I made a list of what I needed and only got what was on the list. If I saw something that I really wanted that wasn’t on the list I didn’t get it. We made these lists from what we knew I would need coupled with lists that the school would send out to families. In my experience most schools K-6 will send out something to help families decide what they need. In addition, most colleges also have this available from their Residential Life department.
2. Shop the sales
Since August is back to school time, many stores have advertisements for their ‘biggest sales of the year’. I’ve found that in many cases this is definitely true. Walmart, Walgreens, and Staples were always my go to stores for back to school shopping as their deals tend to be the best around. Also, paper is paper, pens are pens, and most binders are all the same. I went through more costly items at the same speed I went through their cheaper counterparts so I started to just buy whatever cost less. Online shopping also helped a lot when it came to school supplies as I was able to compare costs without making a trip around to many stores.
3. Make sure you really need it
This is a lesson I learned while in college. All of my classes had at least one required book to buy and the cost of textbooks is very high. Over my four years in school I found that not every book was absolutely required. I began to share books with my friends, read them at the school library if they had it, and in some cases I went to the teacher to double check the need for the book. I also started to buy more e-book versions as they tended to be cheaper. If it is a book you think you will never read after the semester you use it, buy it used and then sell it back. Amazon has a great program for selling old textbooks.