School shopping is not easy. The lists are long (and expensive) and we also have to deal with crowds, complaining, and lines, lines, lines! This year, I decided to make it a little easier- and with these three simple steps- you can too!
School Shopping With Ease – Tip 1 – Shop Online
The one thing that will make it easier is to not deal with the crowds! If you are fortunate enough to get your list early, try to do a little online shopping. Amazon runs great deals on back to school supplies- just like Wal*Mart and Target. I bought some of the basic things without ever leaving my home. Some examples were:
- A backpack – We get Jansports just because they last longer. My daughter had one backpack that lasted all the way through middle school – and would have kept going if it matched her maturity level! Getting a good backpack can be done from the comfort of your own home.
- Shoes– My kids feet have stopped growing, and they have a brand that we like to get. So, instead of spending time at Footlocker – we found Nike tennis shoes online for a much better price!
- Basics- Pencils, pens, notebook paper, three ring binders, glue, crayons, a calculator – even if you don’t have your list – you know those simple things are going to be on there! If they are not- they are things you will have to run out and by the first time there is a project! Also, some things, like Duotang (those folders with brads) are hard to find once all the parents starting hitting the stores- so you can get the ones you need (in those specific colors the teachers are asking for) without having to go to six different stores!
So, not everything can be bought online- and maybe you enjoy shopping! So, if you are heading out – here are two more tips that will be sure to help you!
School Shopping With Ease- Tip 2 – Only Take One Kid
You have to really like shopping for this to work! HAHA! In the past, I have loaded up our whole family – all five of us – and off we went to shop for back to school. This always leaves us frustrated, with a headache, and over budget. This year, I took just my older daughter. My son doesn’t care much about clothes – so he gave me a few specifics, and I shopped for him. My 7 year old busy girl loves clothes- but she is pretty easy going, and dresses with what I bring her. So, I only took the 14 year old. She is more picky, but also can be helpful.
By only taking her, this allowed me to spend the day with her. I will only take her school shopping (all out school shopping) three more times. So, I wanted to make memories with her – and this helped make that happen.
We made sure we got a good night sleep the night before, that we drank plenty of water (and maybe a coffee!) and ate. These things help keep us in our best mood. Often, when we go out on long days like this – we forget that staying hydrated and fed keeps our mood where it needs to be.
School Shopping With Ease- Tip 3- Set Clear Expectations
The one thing I noticed while out school shopping was that there were children, of all ages and genders, who were trying to run the trip. From the Mall to Wal*Mart – it didn’t matter what we were getting, there always seemed to be parents who were losing battles to their kids. I saw a family spend 450.00 in one store- and they had 4 other bags! Now, I am not judging how much they spent – because maybe that is in their budget. However, the attitude on the young ladies face when her mom told her no to another pair of shoes was horrible. She called her mom by her first name and said “But ______(Mom’s name) these are the best shoes out there” Her mother told her no, that they had already bought 6 other pairs of shoes.
I share that story to tell you that you need to have clear expectations set before your feet ever get out of the car at the first store. You need to explain the budget to the kids. They need to know there is a certain dollar limit – and that is okay. No matter if your limit is 50.00 – or 650.00 – a budget is still a budget, and letting your kids know what it is will allow them to go in with realistic expectations.
Also, I always remind my daughter we are not friends. We get to become friends when she is an adult – but in the mean time, I am the Mom, and I have to enforce the budget. I remind her that God gave her to me to parent and shepherd – that the friendship comes later. Now, my daughter and I have an amazing relationship – but that comes with work and respect. Too many times, I have seen moms go in without setting the boundaries first. This goes from budget to modesty.
The last thing I tell her when it comes to expectations is what I will buy. I buy her needs. She babysits and gets an allowance. If she wants the extra pair of shoes, extra jewelry etc, she saves her money and gets those things. This doesn’t make us bad parents- it makes us parents who are teaching the value of money, saving, and responsibility to our kids.
I hope these tips will help make going back to school shopping a little easier – our trip when much smoother following these three tips!
My Other Back To School Shopping Post
Want to rock your back to school shopping? Here are a few more tips you will love!
Worshiping With My Life,