Step 1: Shop around
Every supplier wants to get on the back-to-school bandwagon, so do your homework. School supply ads start showing up in mid-summer, so it’s easy to start your shopping strategy early. Store websites have online ads as well, and often supply coupons or other incentives.
Step 2: Don’t hesitate
Procrastination may leave slim pickings, so don’t wait to start gathering supplies ahead of time. You don’t want to find yourself pounding the pavement at a mega-store searching for that ever-elusive ruler at the 11th hour. Some store websites have a “shop by grade” feature you can use to get most of the items you will need ahead of time.
Step 3: Stock up
School supply essentials like paper, pencils, markers and crayons often need to be replenished during the year. Overbuying those items now, then storing them for later can be save money, especially if you need them after the school supply specials and frenzy have cooled.
Step 4: Check it twice
Usually your student will bring home a list of needed items on the first day of school. Check this list for items you have not yet purchased. As your child advances in school, supply needs get more complicated and shopping will need to be adjusted accordingly. Also, often included on the list are anti-bacterial soaps, tissues or anti-bacterial wipes that the whole classroom will use throughout the school year.
Step 5: Pack it up
Let your child be involved in selecting a backpack he or she can be excited about. Loading it up with supplies together for that all-important first day can help calm your child’s nervous anticipation about the new school year and learn a valuable lesson about being prepared.
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