Getting ready to go back to school can be a very stressfull time for parents and students. Stores are crowded and money is short. Haveing multiple kids returning to school can make this an even harder job. Many parents have found easier ways to get all the supplies in fewer trips to the store and I’ve tried some and found some to be helpful. Put all the lists together at home and make one master list to go by when at the store. It is very frustrating to get an item for one child only to see it on another childs list later. Also look through anything they may of saved from last year that could be used for a younger child. Calculators, protractors, rulers and etc. are some times only put on the child’s list for one year. If a younger child needs these and you have them stuck away some were it could save you a few dollars. Also stores usually have good back to school sales and waiting for these days can help save some money. Purchasing extra of the things that are on sale at the beginning of the school year that you know you will need later not only saves you money, but a trip to the store later. Checking clearance racks and watching store sale ads really does help.
Clothing is a very big cost when returning to school. Starting early can really help the rush of getting everything together. Checking the stores during the summer when doing your regular shopping can help. Stopping in the clothing store in your area when running errands or picking up groceries can save you alot of money. When in the area stop in the store and go directly to the sale and clearance racks and see what new things have been added since the last time you were in. Finding even one item on the sale and clearance rack saves you money later when it’s time to do you returning to school shopping you can pull out all these items you have bought perhaps one at a time and see what you need from there. Buying things at the end of the season can help. Buying the basics in a size larger when the stores mark them down can help. Pack them away for the season and just pull out when needed.
Shoes are a major cost. Kids want all the name brands. Watch for the buy one get one half off sales. Even buying weeks before school starts can help. Many times kids are required to have gym shoes and this can be a major cost when needing to buy more than one pair at a time. Gym shoes need not be a name brand. I’ve learned from experience that gym shoes are rarely worn and at the end of the year they are sent home with the kids looking new or close. These shoes can now become there pair for summer. Buy shoes when they have a good sale even if that means they may not need them just yet, and if it looks like it’s going to be a while before they need them and it’s a decent sale buy the shoes a half size bigger and you will be thankful you did. Saveing money now saves you even more later.
Food can be a big concern expecially for working moms like myself. Eating breakfast at school can be costly and rushed. Buying alot of the boxed and pre-packaged foods can be costly and unhealthy for your kids. I find making things in advance can really help. I know it sounds like alot of work but doing it for the whole week really can help and eases a mother’s mind knowing the kids are getting a good breakfast before heading off to school. Take one night a week and making breakfast and freezing them really helps and the easier it is for kids to do in the morning the more likely they are to take the time to do it. I make a weeks worth of pancakes at a time and freezer them in between layers of wax paper in a freezer bag and the kids can just pull out a layer and pop in the microwave. Homemade breakfast in minutes. I do this with waffles and cinnamon rolls also. I change it up every week. Making bacon and keeping in the fridge and popping a biscuit in the microwave has a breakfast sandwich ready in minutes. Of course I keep boxed cereal on hand for a change, but the cost of these can be unreal. Keeping the foods differnt keeps waste down and kids eating.
Getting your kids in the habit of setting out the things needed the night before really helps the most stressfull part of the day; the mornings. Having your kids get back in the habit of getting to bed early at least a week before school starts will help make those first few weeks of school not so stressfull. It’s back to school time, but let’s make the transition as easy on everyone as possible.