Gearing up for back to school means supplies, school clothes, possible medical check ups and vaccinations, and decisions about whether your kids will be riding the bus or carpooling to school.
The last few of weeks before the beginning of the school year can be pretty hectic.
Here are 5 tips that will help you plan ahead so you’ll be ready for this busy time of year.
1. Do a Back to School Clothes Inventory
Kids grow quickly, so the clothes they were wearing even last spring may not fit. For the sake of saving money though, you should go through their existing wardrobe to see what does still fit and is usable.
2. Shop Early for Back to School Clothes
Be sure not to wait a week before school starts. By July, fall clothes are in the stores, so you can begin shopping early. Hit the early sales and make sure they have the basics – jeans, t-shirts and sweaters or sweatshirts. Pick up some socks and underwear, and a new pair of sneakers.
3. Shop Resale or Consignment Clothing Sales.
If you are really frugal, you can take a look at the local resale shops for gently used clothes. This is a great way to save money, and most kids are pretty open to the idea. You can teach them the concepts of bargain hunting, and recycling and reusing all at the same time.
Be sure to check for local clothing consignment sales in your area. Many of these happen in September.
4. Shop Early for Back to School Supplies
School supplies such as pens and pencils, backpacks, notebooks and other items usually are on sale for about four weeks before the start of the school year. Schools often send lists out of items that your child will need.
You can wait for the school supply list, or you can make some educated assumptions and head out to the store before the list arrives. If your child wants to participate in the process of supply shopping, set aside an afternoon to get everything.
Again, try not to wait until the last moment, and definitely take advantage of sales.
5. Confirm School Transportation Options Early
If your kids are walking to school or being driven by car, get in touch with neighbors and friends who will want to participate in a rotating shuttle or walking escort program. You can start working on this very early in the summer.
6. Be Sure to Schedule Doctor’s Appointments if Needed
If your child needs vaccinations or a medical exam before starting school, this can be scheduled and gotten out of the way well in advance.
With back to school preparations, a few well-planned afternoons will get your kids outfitted for their return to the classroom, and save you from feeling overwhelmed during the last few days of summer. You can use those last few days of summer for a fun trip to the beach or park instead.