Finding Back to School Deals

By Debra Karplus

Though the kids are ready to return to school by mid-summer, most Moms find that time of year daunting with more disciplined bedtime, regular meals, and of course all those items your need to purchase to get your son or daughter ready for the new semester. Many Moms wonder exactly how to make the start of the school year less stressful and more affordable.

The start of school means new school supplies.

Starting the school year with worn down erase-less pencils is very uncool, Mom But who says that new school supplies must be purchased in the weeks immediately before school starts when stores are crowded as other families scramble with the same agenda. Even if your school does not publicize their school supply list, most of what your child needs is somewhat predictable.

Your younger children probably need crayons, scissors and glue sticks, and a container to store them, at a minimum. Older kids will need ample #2 pencils and some pens, highlighters and maybe some markers.

Staying organized is very important starting in the intermediate grades. Teachers typically require folders with pockets and at least one loose leaf binder. Toward middle school, a calculator is essential, and in high school a graphing calculator is the norm.
If you see these items on sale any time of year, buy them, because you know your child will ultimately need them.

Getting an appropriate backpack is a must.

Even your preschool or kindergarten child will likely need a backpack for school. For them, the backpack is expected to hold their lunch, a light jacket, and correspondence to and from school and home. For about eight dollars you can find a backpack adequate for this lightweight stuff at retailers like Walmart of

Your child in high school and even middle school may be transporting books home from school which can become heavy quickly. If you want to avoid chiropractic care for your child’s back, consider a backpack on wheels not unlike the grownup versions that you see at your job or at the airport. For about thirty dollars you can find one that earns excellent customer reviews.

Your child expects a few new outfits for school each year.

When it comes to buying your child clothes for school, you secretly wish you were sending them to parochial school or someplace to get their education that requires school uniforms! But buying clothes doesn’t have to put you in the poor house. Stores like Noodles Children’s Resale Boutique and other Culver City thrift stores have clothes that your child will like to wear. Teach your child how to have fun spotting bargains and they may grow to enjoy those incredibly finds at yard sales and church or synagogue rummage sales.

Another thing that Moms often do is swap clothing. Children from each family end up the clothes that are “new”, at least new to them! And like shopping for school supplies, watch for sales on kids’ clothing year round. It’s a great way to save money.

This article by Debra Karplus first appeared on Culver City Moms and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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