Walking into the store with a random list of school supplies from the school turned out to be the death of me each August when it was time to go Back to School Shopping. After a few years, I finally got my act together to create a Back to School Shopping List that worked for us.
Back to School Shopping List
I needed to come up with a plan that worked for both the kids and myself, kept us from arguing in the store over what they did and did not need and allowed us to get the most bang for our buck!
Ultimately, I found worked was a little prep-time at home before we hit the stores. It was a simple solution really (just like I have mentioned in the past about meal planning–a 10-15 minute meal planning session saves days of frustration during the week!).
Here’s what I found to be the best solution: gather all of the back to school store sale ads and all of the school supply shopping lists for your child’s school.
Before looking at any ads, look through your stash of supplies you might already have at home or that your kids have left over from the previous year: folders, paper, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
Pull out supplies that are on your child’s list for the upcoming school year and mark them off the list if you already have them. Try to avoid buying things that your child can use year after year, such as rulers, scissors, protractors, etc.
Next, add the needed supplies to the Back to School Shopping List (you can download this list using the link at the bottom of this page).
Then go through all of the store sale ads to see what is on your list that is on sale, make note of these items on the Back to School Shopping List.
Don’t forget to go through closets to check out clothes and shoes-get rid of anything that no longer fits and add what is needed to the Back to School Shopping List
Follow this same process for each child in your house. When buying school supplies for multiple kids, you may find that it is beneficial to stop at a few store to pick up items that are on sale. Over the years, I have found that Wal-Mart has the lowest prices on basics like folder, notebooks, Crayola products and more. The key is to shop early before things get picked over.
Keep the Back to School Shopping List handy in your purse for a few weeks before school starts-this way if you happen to be in a store and are looking for a certain item, you can check it off your list as soon as you purchase it!