The holidays come to an end and signal the beginning of the school routine once again. But the one thing that most parents dread is the shopping before sending their kids back to school. The list is endless and the queues serpentine because about a thousand other parents have the same idea as you. If you are a seasoned parent then you know the value of planning ahead and you probably have a better idea of what you need but if you are new parents then read on and arm yourself with some useful tips on the how, the what and the where of school shopping to save your sanity and stay within your budget. |
One of the most important tips is not to wait till the last minute to do your shopping. Try and get hold of a list and get on with it. Most of your favorite shops will have no stock by the time the first day of school comes around. So get there early and stock up and you’ll save money too. By August there are a lot of sales going on and your dollar stores are perfect for pens, paper and other odds and ends that are so important for school. If you cannot get to the stores early then try office supply stores and stationery shops for your needs. They may not be cheap but they will have everything you need and save you running around from shop to shop.
Another good idea is to get together with your friends who have similar shopping to do and buy in bulk together and save money in the process. There are enough bulk shopping stores around for just this purpose.
Some schools have a pre-packaged purchasing system in place. Ask around if classes have standard packages, split the bulk order between parents and students. This will save you time effort, money and complaints about brands and company and other related issues.
Another important part of school is clothes. Kids just have to grow in the summer months and you are going to need to restock their wardrobe. Summer and sports clothes are very essential especially if kids are involved in activities like gymnastics, swimming and games after school. Your best bet is clothes that can do double duty, useful in fall as well as winter. So think tights under skirts, tank tops under long sleeved shirts, cropped pants and sweaters etc. But be aware of school rules regarding dress code. There are schools that do not allow bare shoulders and short skirts.
Now you have everything that your kids need for school. The last on your list would be a school bag for all those things. You don’t want sore muscles and headaches because of big heavy bags. Choose one that sits at the waist and has padded straps with a waist strap for better support. Backpacks are ideal for heavy books though teens may like the impression created by slouchy purses and hobo bags. Never take a backpack with one shoulder strap as that will cause a backache too. The weight must be distributed evenly to avoid injury. Plan ahead and back to school does not mean tension anymore.
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