Surviving Back To School Shopping
If you go shopping this time of year you’ll most likely see a swarm of moms and dads with kids in tow as they prepare for the soon-approaching school year. Every big box store has television ads and a 10-page spread showing how their sale is better than the next store’s sale. School supply shopping is an arduous task and not for the faint of heart. Lines are long and people can be ruthless. So, instead of making my wife endure the struggle another year, I stepped up to the plate and took our girls along for the mission.
My wife was nice enough to send me out with what could only be perceived as battle tips and I was sure to listen. Stick to the lists, keep an eye on the girls, and don’t forget to use coupons. Easy, right? I thought she was kidding but comparing it to battle was fair. Either way, here’s what I got out of the experience.
Nailing Down The Supplies
Supply shopping can be confusing, particularly since school supply lists can change. Stick with the grade appropriate staple items until the final list comes out. Specialty items are expensive and your child’s particular class may not require the items. Rather than purchasing a new character backpack every year, invest in a more expensive but durable option in their favorite colors. The concept of paying $50 and it lasting several years is much better than paying $15-20 but replacing it every year and sometimes mid-year.
Some stores, particularly office supply stores and department stores, will offer what are referred to as loss leaders – bottom dollar pricing to get you to do all of your supply shopping in their store. If it doesn’t require a drive all over town, it’s worth it to buy these items and move on to the next store. Check the ads to find what stores are offering the best deals. If items are ridiculously cheap but you don’t need them, considering purchasing them to donate to a school supply drive or your child’s own school.
Don’t Go Crazy On Clothes
Kids grow at an alarming rate and clothing be expensive. Everyone wants to look their best on the first day of school but that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune. When it comes to clothing stick to the basics for now. Limit the kids to one pair of jeans, two tops, and a pair of shoes. Look for items with a bonus, like pants with a free belt or a shirt that can be dressed up. The kids need some new clothes since they’ve likely grown since last year but there’s no need to buy a whole new wardrobe right now. Believe it or not, it’s actually best to shop just after school starts. More than likely, the stores ordered excess and in order to clear the post back-to-school shelves, they’ll mark these items on clearance.
Unwinding At The Hair Salon
Everyone needs a fresh new haircut to start off the school year and this will be the most relaxing part of your day, especially if it’s anything like our experience at Hairzoo. Appointments aren’t necessary at many places but are recommended, especially at busy times like these. If your child is trying a new style, have them bring a picture of their idea with them so there is no confusion. Just be clear in what you’re wanting. Look for coupons or discounts you can use to save any additional money.
All in all, it wasn’t too bad. The crowds rivaled those of holiday shopping and were equally daunting, but I came out ahead with an experience. Best of all, my wife made one of my favorite meals to thank me for freeing up her day.
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