6 Tips for Conquering Your Back-To-School Shopping List
June 10 2021
Are you ready for back-to-school shopping? If you’re a parent, you’re probably eyeing the task with a mixture of excitement (ah, the allure of fresh notebooks!) and maybe a touch of dread (that school supplies list just keeps getting longer!). You may also know that you won’t be the only one hitting the stores. According to Statista, back-to-school spending per household averaged more than $789 in 2020.
That means you may need a game plan to make the back-to-school shopping experience fun rather than stressful. Here’s where to start.
1. Consult the School Supplies List.
Yes, most kids want to get their fill of cute school supplies and fun desk accessories, but many classes have turned to a more uniform experience for their school supplies list. In some cases, that entails putting all the items from the school supplies list in one bin for students to grab as needed — all the crayons in one, all the glue sticks in another. Some students may also have full or partially online courses. In that case, consider the remote learning supplies that your child may need for success.
So, try to consult the school supplies list, purchase the exact items on it, and then save the cute school supplies for your student’s own personal use at home. And while you’re at it, consider getting a few extra basics. Teachers often supplement supplies with their own budget, so consider it a way to help with teacher school supplies. (You might even get them a couple of fun desk accessories while you’re at it!)
2. Buy Quality- Especially Lunch Bags and Backpacks for School.
There’s nothing more frustrating than shelling out for school supplies only to have something give out after a few uses — lunch bags for kids and backpacks for school are two common offenders. So, before you grab the nearest, cheapest item, try to make sure you have found one that can stand up to repeated use — and washes in the case of lunch bags for kids. For example, quality middle school backpacks for kids might end up costing you a little more at first purchase but will pay dividends for years to come when they are made with sturdy materials and zippers.
3. Don’t Forget the Extras for Good Science Fair Projects
Going off-list for other essentials during your back-to-school shopping trip is can save you time and hassle in the long run. For example, you can make sure to stock up on supplies that will get you through last-minute art and science projects. Good science fair projects utilize supplies like Science Fair Project Display Boards, glue, markers, letter stickers, and construction paper, all of which can make creating and presenting projects a lot more fun.
4. Leave Room for Cute School Supplies and Fun Desk Accessories.
Yes, the school supplies list might have mandated No. 2 pencils, but once you’ve got the recommended items, you can let your kids have some fun choosing things like notebooks, erasers, and other cute school supplies and fun desk accessories. Another place to try to show your creativity is in lunch bags for kids and backpacks for school. Items like these can be a fun way to get your kids excited for the school year ahead.
5. Remember That School Supplies for High School Are a Little Different.
If you’re used to the detailed school supplies list from the younger grades, you’ll find that high school supplies are a bit different. In addition to basics like notebooks and folders, your child will likely come home with a syllabus from each teacher that has suggested high school supplies. These items may include a calculator or flash drive to store their work. Upper-level grades may have partially online assignments, so you might want your child to have their own laptop.
6. Consider Going Online for Any Last-Minute Items You Missed.
While it’s a lot more fun to do your back-to-school shopping in the store, it can get crowded — especially when many families tackle their school supplies list at the last minute. Check out our Back-to-School Shopping Headquarters to shop by grade and find everything your child needs to help make this their best school year yet!
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer who specializes in small business, finance, and real estate.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is,” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrants the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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