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Back to school is a time of mixed emotions. A little nervousness from kids, blended with some excitement. As for the parents? Sheer relief! And perhaps a little bit of trepidation about all that back to school shopping that needs to be done. This small guide will help you make that shopping experience a little easier.
Nothing beats a list at times like this. A shopping checklist will help you stay on top of everything. Contact your school and ask if they have a list of stationery or uniform requirements; this will save you a lot of work and most schools should be able to provide you with one. At first glance, any back to school checklist will be daunting to look at thanks to its sheer length. Take a deep breath and then work out how many items can be bought at the same place, be it a physical shop or online. This will help you tick off lots of items in one shopping trip. You may be tempted to go from store to store, or online shop to online shop, in order to get the lowest prices. A nice idea in theory but if you're travelling for miles and miles just to save a few cents, you might need to question the idea and be prepared to pay a little extra for the sake of a whole lot of convenience.
Budget will always be on your mind, and that checklist might threaten to blow it to smithereens. For that reason, rock bottom prices will always look appealing but remember this: cheap is often nasty! This is particularly true of things like footwear, clothing or items of technology. The cheaper they are, the less likely they are to last for any length of time and before you know it, you're buying these things all over again. Avoid false economy and opt for quality, if you can. It really will pay off in the long run.
You're not the only parent doing back to school shopping. try to shop at a time when stores are less crowded. This will make the whole process relatively stress free as you won't be competing against other parents to grab that special bargain. Call ahead and ask shop staff to put an item aside for you so you know it will be there when you arrive. Anything you can do to beat the crowds is a good move.
One of the best ideas we've heard when it comes to back to school shopping is to pool your resources with other parents. You might be friends with the Mums and Dads of your kids?classmates. Why not join forces and form a back to school shopping team? One parent can buy items for all the kids at one store, while another parent grabs supplies at another. This will dramatically cut down on the amount of shopping and travel all of you have to endure. With this new-found buying power, you can even be a bit cheeky and ask for a bulk discount. You'll never know if you don't ask!
Remember, you're not the only parent who will be going through this. Reach out to experienced back to school shoppers and ask for their advice. You could pick up some invaluable tips...and at back to school time, every tip is a nugget of gold!