The Back-To-School challenges can be very daunting if you are not prepared.
Middle school is under my belt - I mastered being ready having had my kid in the same environment 10 years!
He started his former educational site at 3 years old and graduated 8th grade this past June! I jumped around on Cloud 9 for months! He achieved scholastic honors and was simply a joy!
Mid July a co-worker of mine - whose son is also entering as a freshman this fall - starte with the "Did you..." s.
"Did you pay for this and that" panicked me - got me into gear - but I hate panicking!
Having y eyes BUCK and led to a few gasps the first couple of weeks - now I have settled into reality. Finally I kicked into gear and am happy to share with you what I have learned for successful money saving this Back-To-School session!
1) No matter the season - if you see a bargain - GO FOR IT!
I managed to get school shoes last Spring - keeping in mind there might be growth. Staples, etc. offer awesome coupons and deals - subscribe to their emails!
2) Have an "Emergency Account" ~ of course you can use this for whatever comes up!
I actually have two. One for appliances that explode and the other for "whatever comes up"!
This way, as school approaches, you can dip in there and take what you need should there be an unforeseen fee or class requirement.
3) Ask in advance -
The Middle-School experience so far, seems to have been extremely more organized with assisting frantic parents in purchasing mandatory pens and notebooks - THEY DID IT FOR US! For about $15 extra in tuition they simply purchased everything needed so, as we had in days past, there would no longer be crashes in the aisles at Staples as parents rushed to get the last red binder. High School? I have NO clue what pens etc are required. Making that call today!!
4) Leave CUTE out of the equation.
Okay, I have a boy, but girls of school age are as hard on their clothes as boys. Buy good quality - but affordable being key to the equation. I absolutely lucked up on khaki pants (the required pant) at Marshall's in June. $15-19. I bought 4 pair. I lucked up again last week as Costco offered Docker's at the same price.
Black, navy and khaki. Now I have a bit of wiggle room when my active teen rips, miffs, or ruins a few.
5) Don't fret
I think a lot of our mania is because we frenzy ourselves and our fellow moms. STOP IT.
The world will certainly keep on its axis if the kings and queens of our homes go without. Do NOT pay an exorbitant amount for something until it becomes affordable. (THINK BACK to all of the things we went without and we're fine).
6) USE this opportunity
Those of us with children over 8, let them FULLY participate in this annual endeavor. Going without may encourage them to be more communicative about what they know they'll be needing. It is also a great time to teach budget skills and organizational skills.
7) Themes are cute BUT...
Do they really need a themed lunch-bag for $12.99 or is the $5.99 deal just as nice. (One year I allowed my kiddo to decorate his own. It was fun and CHEAPER).
LOVE LOVE LOVE every second. BOY this is all going WAY to quickly.
9) Have your list ready as soon as possible.
That will help you with impromptu purchases that tend to tack on the change.
10) Remember your fellow mom and her kids.
I always have and always will, buy a tad more than needed, being extremely frugal and allows to give a few extra pens, reams of paper, or gently worn items to anyone I come into contact with in need.
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GOOD LUCK ~ AND WELCOME BACK!!! "A mind is a terrible thing to waste" ~