So, how do you juggle it all?
- I highly suggest planning your attack early! The stores get pretty crazy with pencils and protractors flying off the shelves just a few days before school begins. For the best selection have your list handy and pick up items a little at a time. It also gives you and your kids a chance to look around and see what they really want.
- I was always able to choose my own notebook, pencils, etc. but every store carries different patterns, characters and quality of products. So, get a jump on stocking up, it will make life easier later on.
- Don't worry though about getting 200 #2s. If you are getting basic pencils (they can be dressed up with toppers or erasers later!) get one box and wait till the after sales kick in with massive close-out prices.
- The same could be said for stocking a wardrobe. Now is a great chance to take stock of the kids' closet. First make a list of necessities like socks, underwear and shoes. Then move onto the "wish-list". If your children are older, have them make a list. Remind them it is a wish-list only and you will need to budget for clothing items.
- I am a firm believer that the start of school should not break the bank. If money is tight, pick out an outfit for the first day of school and some of the necessities. Then next pay period add another few items. There will be great sales just after the rush. Another option is to find a Lay-away program or browse through consignment shops. Often you can find items with the tags still on!
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*Disclaimer - I blogged for an entry for a Master Lock back-to-school prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.