Wednesday, 29 February 2012

How to Save on Back to School Shopping

Back-to-school shopping is a fun way to get kids excited about a new school year. But buying too much in one shot can be a budget-buster for families and a stress trigger for children.
So it is suggested in the best interest of students and parents to research before making purchases two months earlier from the date school reopens. It softens the blow to your wallet and ensures that you buy only what your child really requires for their schooling. Follow­ing are the tips to save money and reduce the stress of back-to-school shopping.
Before even thinking about buying more school supplies, you have to figure out two things: what you need, and what you already have. Tackle what you need first; book shops, stationery stores and school. Further, e-commerce websites often give you list or suggest required student materials. Then, with lists in hand, scour the house to figure out which supplies you already own and what you have to buy now.

Once you’ve determined what to purchase, establish a budget and enforce it with your kids. When you plan to buy the backpack, lunchbox, sipper bottle, and binder, all with matching licensed cartoon character ( might at hefty price), it turns out  into a learning experience. You can tell your kids how exciting it would be to go to school with their favorite cartoon characters printed on their school supplies, and how they will look different among their peers. And same time also tell them the importance of studying and getting best grades so that they can still stand ahead of their peers in academic years and in life ahead.
Other tips to ease the pain of buying school supplies:
Shop Early: Most of the stores and web portals in the beginning of the school sessions offer Back-to-school products at discounted cost and sometimes in form of combo packs to entice shoppers into stores. Pick up those items you know you’ll need (lined notebooks, paper, pencils, crayons, folders, etc.), and the money you save can go toward bigger budget items.
Buy for whole year: Kids are not responsible like you. They keep missing their pencils, sharpeners and erasers so often in their schools. So it is better idea to buy some extra pieces, preferably in packs, so that you need not run to the stationery shops late in the evening after spending whole tiring day in office/ at home.
Involve your Kids while making List for Purchases: Let your child choose a few inexpensive items you know he’ll need, as well as a new lunch box and backpack if last year’s models just won’t do. To save time and money, consider picking up the rest of the items on the school supply list without your child.
Check for the best prices and Discounts: When you have done whole of your budgeting and listing of the items you have to buy for your kids, research on the websites, you might find it more beneficial, as  shopping online will help you save both money and time than to hop into the local school supply stores. As generally in the beginning of academic year these local stores run short in supply of many articles, mostly books and you have no other option to wait till they bring in the new stock. But when you shop online it is not the case in general. You can flip to another website if one store or website is running out of stock with some particular books or items you intend to buy. And most often you get the best discounts on online stores.
One month in: The first month of school is about establishing a daily schedule and morning routine. Invest in supplies that will help your child get orga­nized. For example, laminate a morning schedule and post it where he can’t miss it.
Two months in: Create a homework station and stock it with the necessary supplies. Consider a laminated homework schedule with built-in breaks. Make the station an inspirational place for your child, reflective of his personality.
The back-to-school shopping season often takes on the frantic pace of the weeks before the start of the academic sessions in April. By making your purchases over a few days earlier, you can make more thoughtful decisions and give you and your child time to figure out the tools he needs to do his best and be happy in school.

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