Five Tips for Efficient Back-to-School Shopping

It seems like just yesterday I was writing about summer break. Now, here I am again talking about back-to-school shopping and preparedness. Time does fly, which is why it’s so important to get a head start on all your back-to-school shopping needs. Although my daughter won’t start school for another five weeks, we’re already wrapping up on some of the most important items. I refuse to be a last-minute shopper this year.

If back-to-school shopping always brings stress and overwhelm to your household, it’s time to start making a plan. Below are five tips for efficient back-to-school shopping.

Take inventory

When it comes to back-to-school shopping, some items don’t have to be repurchased year after year. Take inventory of what you already have and avoid purchasing duplicates. Depending on the quality, condition, and use of the item, you’ll likely be able to reuse it for a few school years. Stainless steel water bottles are a great example, as they’re built to last and usually have evergreen designs that don’t go out of style.

Check with your child’s school

I’m constantly surprised by the items my daughter’s school does and doesn’t require. Don’t assume that all the items in the back-to-school section are what your child will need. Check with your child’s school or teacher to ensure you’re purchasing the correct items. This will save you time, money, and lots of headaches in the long run.

Make a list

Before you head to the store or start shopping online, take the time to make a list first. A good list will not only help you buy the things you need, but it will also help you avoid all the items you don’t. We’ve all been there. We go to Target to buy shampoo and leave with $200 worth of items you didn’t need, and forget the shampoo! Been there, done that. Just make the list.

Buy online

If you want to avoid impulse shopping altogether, I highly recommend shopping online. Major retailers like Target and Walmart now offer free curbside pickup, which means you can shop all the highly sought-after items without stepping foot in the store. I love this hack when I want to avoid shopping for unnecessary items. I purchase the item on the app and pick it up in the parking lot.

Buy basics in bulk

When it comes to back-to-school supplies, some items are more essential than others. Pencils, for example, are constantly lost and used, which means your child will likely go through a box of pencils more often than you would like. For items like these, I recommend buying in bulk and keeping a backstock in your home. This will save you trips to the store throughout the year.

You can even donate some to your child’s classroom and help the teacher avoid making those purchases out of their pocket.