For better or for worse, summer is almost over. That means it soon will be time for kids to go back to school. Endless school supply lists and long lines at different stores are enough to make you cranky. Add in bored kids and it can be a recipe for total mayhem or those pesky meltdowns nobody wants to deal with in the summer heat.
So what’s a busy mom to do? I mainly shop online to save time (and money thanks to discount codes) but I also plan as much as possible. As a working mom, every minute counts, so if I don’t organize myself, it means I would be shopping at the 24-hour pharmacy the night before school starts. Not the worst thing that can happen, but trust me, it’s too stressful. Been there, done that.
Here’s how I cope with back to school craziness without losing my sanity:
7 Back To School Shopping Tips
1. Print out your school’s supply list. Make a copy and have it in your bag so you can shop for items you see on sale when you’re at the supermarket, warehouse store or office supply retailer.
2. Make an inventory of what you already have and put in a clear bag labeled with your child’s name. Cross off the items from your list.
3. To save money, clip coupons for the items you need to buy. Some retailers accept printed coupons as well. Also monitor sales and specials at supermarkets and pharmacies. Sometimes they have great buy one get one free promotions that save you a lot of money when you have more than one child. Subscribe to email newsletters, too, so you know when sales are going on and get special coupon codes.
4. Don’t wait until the last minute. Stores sometimes run out of in demand items such as specific types of notebooks or graph paper the closer you get to the first day of school.
5. Get your child excited about the new school year by making him or her part of the shopping process. Let your kid pick her or his backpack, notebooks or pencil cases.
6. If time is at a premium, try online shopping. Always search for promotional codes or discounts before checking out, not only using a search engine but on Twitter and the brand’s official Facebook page. Prefer sites that offer free shipping or a flat-fee shipping rate. Also check the return policy; some stores offer easy returns and pre-printed shipping labels. Others are not so return-friendly.
7. Some schools require uniforms. Make sure regulations haven’t changed from last year. To save money, sometimes you can buy plain polo shirts at a mass retailer and then have them embroidered with your school’s logo. However, there are schools that are very strict about who provides their uniforms; if that’s your case, also try to shop early to get your child’s size.
7 online stores that have back to school promotions
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Office Depot 1 of 7There are many online codes to get additional discounts and with a minimum $50 order, you get free shipping. They have divided school supplies by grades so it's easier to shop.
Lands’ End 2 of 7This is a great choice for back to school clothes since it offers uniforms for schools across the country. Make sure to find out if there are any promo codes before completing your checkout. There-s a dedicated uniform section and it's easy to find the code for your specific school. If you subscribe to their newsletter, you will get coupon codes as well.
Target 3 of 7Aside from having special back to school promotions, Target offers printable coupons for extra savings.
The Children’s Place 4 of 7
Old Navy 5 of 7A great resource for uniform bottoms and children's clothes without breaking the bank. To get free shipping usually you need a $50 minimum purchase. There's a uniform sale going until 8/15.
Staples 6 of 7Currently you can get free shipping with a $45 minimum order. Check out their other back to school deals here.
L.L. Bean 7 of 7This store not only offers free shipping with no minimum order, but it also has a great return policy.
Tell me in the comments: How do you keep your sanity during back to school shopping season? Please share your tips!
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