7 Back-to-School Shopping Tips

Summer's almost over. That means moms have to do that back-to-school shopping! College kids may be handling this drudgery, uh, I mean, adult responsibility on their own. A mature teen may be able to handle their own shopping if given the money. Whether you're a college freshman, a parent of Kindergartners or even a parent who just wants to know how to make this task easier, keep reading! Here are some useful tips on how to do your back-to-school shopping.

Plan Ahead

First and foremost, what do you need? Many stores will have lists from all the local schools right by the registers to tell you what you need. Go through your child's closet with them to see what is outgrown or too worn out to wear anymore. Find out what your school's dress code is. Even if no uniform is required, there may be rules to follow. When you know what you need, you can plan out your budget. Fortunately, a lot of back-to-school items will be on sale, including clothing.


You can save money by buying a big bag of pens at a dollar store, but you shouldn't cheap out on the backpack that will be used all year. What items will your child need right away, and which can wait? Kleenex and art supplies might be something that can wait a week after the school year starts, but pencils, paper, notebooks, a ruler, and an eraser are the essentials. Discuss with your child's teacher what will be needed right away and what can wait a few weeks. Depending on where you live, winter clothing can sometimes be put off until Black Friday. Make sure to take the kids clothes shopping with you to make sure everything fits and that you got something the kid won't mind wearing.

Stay Fashion Forward

Simply Southern and Vera Bradley have many products such as backpacks, lunch totes, notebooks, and blankets (for dorms) that will keep kids looking and feeling great when going back to school. Having the newest style or product isn't a necessity, but it is sure fun to rock new gear and stay up to date on trendy items.

Go With More Than One Store

Some stores will give you a better deal on some items than others. Check and see if they have price matching deals. There are shopping apps that will help you with your comparison shopping and provide you with coupons. If there's a tax-free shopping weekend going on, take advantage of it. If you decide to do your shopping online, you may be able to earn cashback. However, do allow time for delivery if you shop online, including time for returns if the item turns out to be less than what you were expecting.

Online Research

With the internet, comparison shopping has never been easier. You can find out who's giving the better bargains on various items from the comfort of your own sofa. While you're at it, find out the stores' policy on returns and price matching. You can also learn about upcoming sales from a store's website. You can also check out consumer reports on various items to see if the product is worth buying or if you should go with another brand. Take notes, compare prices and consumer reports, and you'll be able to figure out what your best plan for back-to-school shopping is.

Buy in Bulk

If you have many children or are teaming up with a family to lower costs, buying in bulk could give you the best bargain. Many places will give you a good deal on pens, pencils, markers, and crayons if you buy in bulk. Even if you don't have a lot of kids to shop for, keep in mind these things get lost easily. It's always a good idea to have some replacements on hand. When the new school year starts, you may even have a few pencils and pens from last year to use. Some wholesale clubs will let you cancel membership anytime, so you may want to look into this as well.

The Tech

This applies mostly to college students and maybe some high schoolers. Tech is not as quite in demand this year as you would think. Many tech devices will be provided by the school. However, if you are in the market for a laptop, phone, or graphing calculator, you may be able to get a serviceable secondhand model at a reasonable price. Just make sure it is from a reputable seller, preferably the manufacturer itself. Look for the "Factory Certified" logo. You may be able to sell or trade in your used gadget(s) to offset the cost. If you can put this purchase off until Black Friday or Cyber Monday, do it.

Shop online today and find everything you need for back to school at Imagine That Boutique.