“No you don’t need that designer book bag or that pen set! Do you see the price tag?”
“But all the other kids—”
“You’ll just lose them like you did last year.”
If you’ve heard a conversation like this around the store lately, it can only mean it’s back-to-school time. For many parents it can be a bit of a nightmare. You want your kids to have everything they need to succeed, but your wallet can only take so much. And then there’s the nagging thought in the back of your mind about how long it’ll be before that expensive lunch box gets left behind.
Here are some tips that may help you make that dreaded shopping excursion into a positive experience for your family.
Plan ahead. There are hordes of people in the store all hunting the same bargains as you are. Beat them to it by taking advantage of early-bird specials, online discounts and summer sales.
Bring a friend. Maybe stores will offer a discount if you buy in bulk, or will have two-for-one sales. Shopping with a friend lets you utilize these discounts and share extra expenses such as gas or shipping.
Include your kids. You’re not going to agree on everything, but including your kids in your shopping not only gives them a sense of responsibility towards the items you buy, but also teaches them about prioritizing and budgeting.
Back to school shopping may not be the most wonderful time of the year, but if you plan it out right, you can whip through it with your wallet a litter fatter and your kids a little wiser.