School

Back to school shopping

Children will soon return to class and it’s time to buy school supplies, smart clothes and lunch accessories. Are you ready?

After summer vacations that allowed you to forget about the routine and to spend your money on activities that truly made you happy, school is back and so is reality. It is time to get ready for the routine that will follow you until spring. You have received the school supplies list during the summer, you have seen all the beautiful fall and winter clothes and you intend to make this back to school period a happy time for your child to enjoy his school days. Did you plan all these expenses in your budget? Here are some tips to avoid feeling bad for having so much fun during the summer. After all, you can be both the ant and the grasshopper.

Reuse

On the last school day, your child emptied his locker and his desk as quickly as possible to make the most of the last outdoors activities. A bit because children are not particularly organized beings, it is moms who end up sorting this mess strewn with pencil shavings, chewed and dried markers, looking for a sharpener, a ruler, a calculator and a few erasers that could still be used.

As tempting as it is to empty the bag in the trash can and start over in September, many things are still good and you may save a few binders, notebooks and pens. By doing so, you will save lots of money and help the environment in exchange for a few minutes of your time and slightly dirty hands. You will be glad you did when school comes.

Clothes

Some children grow very fast and it is unlikely that warmer clothes will still fit them. For others, look through last year’s clothes before going shopping. Locate basic pieces such as white shirts, plain t-shirts and tights that you will not have to buy again. This cleaning will also help you look for new pieces to buy that will match the old style. If you have several interchangeable kits, it will make your life easier in the morning before school.

You can also think about it while shopping and prepare for next spring and fall. If you spend a little more on some pieces, choose simple and classic styles. That way, they will last through the seasons and beyond fashion. If your child or your teen wants the latest fashion, prefer accessories that can easily be changed from one trend to another.

Regarding snowsuits and coats, some prefer to buy them at the beginning of the season to avoid getting stuck and to have the best possible choice. For my part, I prefer to wait until the first cold days because the same coats and on sale and then I can afford the best quality for the same price.

School supplies

After checking what is missing in the list, two options are available. You can bring the list to your school’s library and buy everything at once within minutes. It’s convenient, fast, it’s a good way to encourage local businesses and it helps latecomers get ready in only one shopping spree.

However, that way of buying school supplies is more expensive and despite the few choices you will have between a few binders and notebooks, you will pay full price on most of your articles. So if your budget is tighter, visit various superstores and dollar stores to find deals. It will allow you to use the rest of your budget on your child’s favorite backpack, nicer notebooks or extra clothing. 

2016 budget

If these purchases caught you off guard and were not calculated as you were spending during the summer, note the amounts that were allocated to each category (supplies, books, clothes, sports shoes, lunch box, etc.) to better prepare for the next school year. If your budget is extremely tight, you can even save a bit of money every month for next year’s supplies and avoid that big impact on your 2016 budget.

By Anne Costisella

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