Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back to School Shopping Tips

Mir, author of, has a great post on BlogHer about how she strategizes back to school.

Since my oldest is only 4, this is all new to me. And yet, I feel compelled to add a few tips of my own. That's how much of a blowhard I am.

Anyway, Mir expounded on the value of stocking up for future years at those 1-cent and 9-cent loss leaders during the back to school supply sales. I agree, with this expansion: Even if your kids are too little for back to school, it's a great time to score crayons and markers for home use. I even scored some cheap office supplies for the adults in the house -- pens and highlighters so far, and I have my eyes on some scissors this week.

As far as clothes, I definitely recommend shopping secondhand, especially for younger kids who won't be too snobby for it. Twice a year, my local parenting center has a huge consignment sale as a fundraiser, and this is where I will get my daughter's entire school wardrobe in 5T. The brands I get at this sale are things I would never shell out for new, even on clearance: The Children's Place, Ralph Lauren, Gymboree.

Finally, I would advise parents to stockpile those lunchbox stuffers. Whether you use the Grocery Game, are doing the Kellogg's rebate, or are just watching the sales and coupons, if you find a good deal on whatever little snacks you put in those boxes (please don't say Uncrustables), buy months and months' worth. Not only will you save money, but you won't be scrambling on Monday mornings in October.