Don’t feel weighted down by the advent of a new school year. Embrace school shopping from the eyes of a child, but with grown-up know-how.
- School supplies: Grab the school supply list along with the Sunday newspaper ads and see what store has the best deals. Find out if your child’s supplies will be pooled with everyone else’s in the class or kept entirely as his own. This is important because it affects if you purchase Star Wars or Helly Kitty pencils or just plain No. 2 pencils. Some classrooms pool together the pencils, pens and dry erase markers so fancy ones are out. In my family, we concentrate on more personable writing journals, scissors and folders. Finally, set boundaries and budgets with the kids before you go shopping. Depending on the list, one can easily get by with spending less than $10-$15 on school supplies per child.
- Clothes shopping: Now that the supplies are out of the way, move onto clothes. Take time to do some inventory before you hit the stores. Sit down with your child and sort through their clothes drawers and closet. What stays? What goes? What fits? What doesn’t? Remember we still have those summer temperatures when they return to school. Check to see how many shorts and shirts still fit your child. Then hit the sale racks to add a few new shorts and t-shirts to start off the first week of school. It doesn’t necessarily have to be five new complete outfits. Perhaps, try something new for every day of the first week. Concentrate on finding a new shirt or shorts for one or two days, a new pair of earrings for another day and a new pair of shoes for the last day of the week. Then in late September or October, plan to go for a relaxing shopping trip (all on your own!) to buy jeans, long sleeve shirts and hoodies to start the kids off for the fall.
Submitted by Springfield Moms Advisory Board member and frequent contributor Allison Klint. Curious about what other moms do? Check out our Back to School tips from readers here.