Back to school is always a hard time, no matter how prepared you think you are. Things such as where to shop, how to shop, and how to save are all included.
Shopping can be miserable, to begin with, but add more than one child, and it seems near impossible to do. Believe me, I know how it goes. I still have three boys I have to school shop for.
The time and planning that goes into shopping, whether it be in person or online, makes you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day to do that along with anything else you have going on. But you do! I have gotten enough of this down to a science and it has made it so much easier over the years.
“But what about saving money?” I have had that question a ton over the years, and even though things are ever-changing, I still have easier ways to search and save money. Because especially right now, money and savings matter.
PLACES TO FIND A DEAL FOR BACK TO SCHOOL
There are so many places to find deals. Some are in the form of rebates, some in the form of sales, and a lot in the form of cashback. No matter how you look at it though, a deal is still a deal. There are good and bad to every one of these.
Some of the things I use are Ibotta, Rakuten, and Capital One Shopping. They are cash back and promo code sites. This means you will get a set amount or percentage back after the purchase is complete. Or for the promo code, it will be a set amount off before you complete the transaction. Either way, it equals money in your pocket.
Some other ways to save really depend on how you decide to shop. If it is online, Capital One, Rakuten, and sales would be your best bet. If you are shopping in person, you could also save additional money with store loyalty cards and paper coupons. Although this takes quite a bit of work, it will still be worth it in the end, especially if you have more than one child.
Most retailers will have sales that run from the beginning of July until the end of September, simply to provide cost-effective savings for everyone, no matter when their school starts.
Never assume! I have learned that the hard way over the years. I have thought that prices online would be the same in-store, or that a sale ran longer than it actually did. Be proactive and be checking these things the day you shop.
Another common assumption, and to be honest one of my favorites, back-to-school bundle packs are more cost-effective. WRONG!! I priced out a few different bundles and 99.9% of the time, the bundle actually cost more than buying things individually. Again, learned that the hard way. But if you are short on time and don’t mind spending an extra couple of dollars, bundles can help cut shopping time nearly in half.
This year there is however one bundle that I have compared with most school shopping lists and it checks off almost all of the boxes for needed supplies. Check it out here.
WHAT TO SHOP FOR
This is a tough one, simply because so many schools have their own rules when it comes to what a student needs, as well as what a student is able to have. For this, I normally recommend looking on the school’s website or trying to find a list provided by a local retailer. I know for my area, there are many ways to get your hands on these lists.
One thing I have learned over the years though not much has changed since, we, the adults have been in school. So absolute worst case, get your child(ren) what you needed back in the day. I promise you, if they are missing anything, you will know by the end of the first week.
And on a final note, for those who are able and would like to do something for your child(ren)’s new teacher, we have Welcome Back Tubs on the blog as well. It is a great way to show your teachers you appreciate them, as well as help the teacher provide for students who may not have as much or anything at all.