Back to school shopping doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal or a money pit if it’s done right. Believe it or not your child does not need everything purchased brand new or the most trendy stuff on the market. The best bang for your buck is to by previously used items or knock offs. So how do we go about finding these items?
Take your child to the second hand store and let them choose a few outfits and even some shoes for much less then what you would pay brand new. They usually have brand name items for amazing prices. You can also find all kinds of items on the Facebook marketplace at great prices. Try swapping clothes between family and friends, if you have a child a size smaller then theirs let them know you will take their hand me downs and give them something in exchange. Offer to babysit or bake them some treats, whatever you choose it doesn’t have to cost money.
If you didn’t buy a trendy backpack last year you may be in luck, you can use it again this year if it’s in good shape. Kids don’t need brand new items. If your backpack has seen better days or is no longer “cool” or “on trend” kids pick up on this stuff and don’t want to be the only uncool kid with a shopkins backpack if they don’t like shopkins anymore. This is why I try to buy backpacks that have no licensed characters on them, stick with a generic design or colour and they will use it for years. If they need a new one check eBay or amazon as well as second hand stores.
My kids school has a great program where they supply everything for a small annual fee which is perfect because then I don’t have to shop for it. If your school doesn’t do this then do most of your shopping at the dollar stores, they have great school supplies for super cheap. Watch for the sales at the stores and grab what you can through the months of August so your prepared. Don’t forget your child will have homework and need to practice things at home so stock up for at home use to.
Packing lunches is one of my least favourite chores, it’s quite pricey and can be a lot of work. But there are ways around it. Purchase a good thermos and stock up on their favourite soups and pastas. Buy bulk products whenever you can to save on buying small packets of snacks every week. Dollar stores have great snack containers so get a number of different sizes and use them for all kinds of leftovers and baking you make at home to avoid packing too much processed junk. Check out these cool lunch and snack ideas for inspiration.
Remember the most important thing is that your child feels happy and excited to go back to school. It’s not about keeping up with the rich kids or having all the coolest products. Make it a fun and special time for them and they will remember it for the rest of their lives.