Back to School Shopping Made Easier

Back to school shopping can be a great way to help your child learn about responsible finances. You (and your significant other) work hard to provide your kids with all they need to succeed in school but sometimes they seem not to understand that having a Justin Bieber notebook won’t make them learn more. On the other hand we might be the ones forgetting that going to school is not only about learning math, science or English, it’s also about socializing and maybe that Justin Bieber notebook could mean the difference between cool and uncool.

A quick “save on school supplies” Google search will bring up a lot of results and it might be overwhelming to decide which advice to listen to. I did that for you and found a blog with very clear and useful tips to make the school supplies shopping experience much easier. The blog is called Organized Home and you can read the article about school supplies shopping tips RIGHT HERE.

A couple of points that I found more interesting about it were:

  • Find out what you already have: make an inventory of  what you have left from the previous school year and put it all in boxes. You will normally find that out that you have pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, erasers, rulers and maybe even notebooks that can still be used.
  • Make a list of what you REALLY need before you go shopping.
  • Buy early but don’t buy everything at once. Some items such as markers, crayons, glue, etc… are marked down at the end of summer. So be patient and make sure to stop by the stores once in a while just to check.
  • Use and abuse of discount coupons. I found this website with a lot of Target coupons for back to school shopping. CHECK IT OUT.
  • Take your kids with you. Now you might be thinking – “This guy is insane! My kids will ask for every single expensive item in the store!” I know that, and you are absolutely right. But that’s also an incredible opportunity to teach kids a little bit about home economy and financial planning.

That’s not only my opinion. The post at the Organized Home blog  suggests that. Well, I, myself, wouldn’t really know much about this experience in the flesh because Lucas is still a couple of years away from going to kindergarten but in my experience as a teacher I tend to agree when the blog says that you can do some horsetrading with your kids. If they insist on that Justin Bieber notebook remind them that they can get the notebook but they’ll have to get a simpler pencil case. Negotiation skills come in hand here. Be firm but be fair!

I’d suggest giving them their own budget (make it age appropriate) and letting them decide how they want to manage it. You can give suggestions, help them compare prices and products and I’m sure that if you keep your patience you and your kids can enjoy this experience together.

I really wanted to hear from other dads that already went through the school supplies shopping experience and how they dealt with it. What worked and what didn’t. Share your experiences. You can write it in the comments section bellow or send me an e-mail at

Have a great weekend,



Posted on July 22, 2011, in Parenting and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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