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How to keep your cool for back to school

Elizabeth Mitchell is a freelance fashion and beauty writer living in Los Angeles. A graduate of New York University, she regularly contributes to The Fashion Spot, The Luxury Spot and authors the Star Style column for StyleBakery Teen. ...

Stress-free shopping tips

Back to school is by far one of the most stressful times of the year for both parents and kids. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or your loved ones this fall, keep these tips in mind to make the process as painless as possible.

College boy on campus

1

Don't procrastinate

Trust us: Waiting until the very last minute to stock up on all your back-to-school essentials is enough to drive any woman insane. Get a head start so you're not totally freaking out and making irrational purchasing decisions based solely on the fact that you're so pressed for time. The sooner you tackle your to-do list, the better, more accomplished and less stressed you'll feel.

2

Make a plan before you hit the store

Speaking of to-do lists, put together a plan of action before leaving your house. Map out which stores you absolutely want to hit and figure out the most efficient order to shop them in. Don't forget to jot down exactly what you need to buy at each one, either. This will help ensure you're organized and on schedule and will prevent the overwhelming urge to impulse buy.

3

Take advantage of online deals

Why waste your precious time fighting in-store lines and throngs of annoying back-to-school shoppers when you could just go online to score what you need now (at a lower price, mind you), from the comfort of your own home? If you or your kids have already tried on a specific pair of pants or shoes or truly know a brand inside out, do a quick online search — we bet your bottom dollar you'll find what you're looking for at a sweet discount.

4

Create a realistic budget and stick to it

A realistic, well-thought-out budget not only keeps you on track and helps streamline your entire shopping experience, but it also saves you money and reduces your overall stress levels. As you may know already, there's nothing that can stress us ladies out quite like money, right!?

5

Remember to breathe

Feeling utterly overwhelmed by the sheer length of your list or the number of people in the mall? Step outside to get some fresh air (or go somewhere quiet) and take a deep breath. Breathe in and out slowly several times to regain your composure. Think soothing, peaceful thoughts as you do so, and before you realize it, you'll be ready to shop till you drop again!

More back-to-school tips

Tips for staying upbeat for back-to-school shopping
Reasons why it's OK to splurge on back-to-school shopping
Get organized for back to school

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