My number one tip when it comes to back to school shopping?
Check your inventory!
Before you head to the stores, check your house first to see what you have. Is their backpack from last year still in good shape? Do they need new supplies, or did they just lose a couple of markers in their bedroom over the summer. And maybe they just need to sharpen their pencil crayons a little.
I love a cart full of brand new school supplies as much as the next person, but it can get expensive when you have more than one kid, or a kid that demands brand new everything! Check all the supplies from the previous year to see what they have and what they need. Maybe even wait to see if their teacher sends home a list of required supplies.
Also go through their clothes to see what fits from the previous season. I usually buy my kids a new shirt for the first day, but after that they stick to what they wore during the summer. Those new jeans might not get worn for a month depending on the weather! So no need to rush out and buy all new fall clothes right away. And if your kids are older, they might want to wait to see what their friends are wearing and whats trendy at school, so waiting a week or two might be a good idea.
This year the start to the school year is a frugal one. Last year my daughter started school, so she needed new everything!
Here’s my inventory list:
- lunch bags
- pencil crayons
- lots of clothes that still fit from last year
- outdoor shoes
- fall jackets
- pencil sharpener
- outdoor shoes (both kids)
- some “new” clothing (scored some great deals second hand!)
- lunch containers (a few cracked lids on the ones from last year!)
- pencil box
I know the lists will grow as my kids get older, and binders and note books and calculators and laptops (yikes!) start to be required, but for my Second Grader and my Senior Kindergartener things are still simple.
Whats on you back to school shopping list?