3 Back-to-School Shopping Tips That Save Time and Money


By Jay Croft

Back-to-school shopping tips are important for any parent: tips to save money are key, of course, but saving time is sometimes just as critical. In the waning days of summer, you’re probably not looking to spend hours and hours inside a shopping center, fighting the crowds for the best deals on school supplies, accessories, and other stuff your kids will need.

With the wonders of the internet and a little communication with your children, you can complete your back-to-school shopping at home in one evening, using these three handy tips:

1. Get the Basics Down First

Remember the old No. 2 pencils from your school days? Well, they’re still in demand—as are crayons, notebook paper, folders, and glue sticks. There are, of course, all kinds of modern, electronic items to consider, too. If you’re stumped on what your child actually needs, check to see whether their school has provided a list—and then head to sites that make buying those items easy, with online tools and home delivery.

Office Depot’s Back to School page is helpfully divided by school year, with tips to save money all the way from kindergarten to college. Walmart even lets you search for your child’s school and class to see if the specific lists are included. Plus, there’s free two-day shipping on eligible school supplies.

2. Let Kids to Express Themselves

Lunchboxes come in all kinds of popular design choices, from favorite characters to sports teams. Since they’re a popular way for kids to express themselves, you might want to consult them on this decision. If it’s furry friends, superheroes, or even classic video games that will get them to remember their PB&J every day, check out Wayfair’s special collection of character lunchboxes.

No list of back-to-school shopping tips would be complete without talking about backpacks. Characters might work again here, but for those “big kids,” try something basic and solid, but still stylish. Fashion meets function with the Girls Under Armour Favorite Backpack, which is available in several trendy color combos and patterns. A true fashionista might be looking for something a bit more chic than scholarly, and that’s the girls’ back to school nylon backpack from Kate Spade, in a neutral navy that can be worn with almost anything.

3. Shop for Products That Last

A new school year usually brings the need for new athletic shoes for gym class and the playground. For the little ones, you can still choose, right? Keep it simple with lots of sizes and style choices (including more characters) at Sears.

Your bigger kids might be getting interested in competitive sports and need more grown-up style and support. New Balance does a great job of providing enough selections they’ll want (with some on sale) so that you can acknowledge their growing needs without breaking the bank (on shoes they’re still going to outgrow!).

Shopping smart this upcoming school year and avoiding the lines can get both you and the kids off to a smooth start. With these back-to-school shopping tips, you’ll save time, money, and your sanity.

You can't go wrong with a backpack featuring a popular character like the friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man, from Kmart.


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