Back-to-school shopping hacks that will save you time and stress.
Can you hardly believe it’s back-to-school shopping time of year again? It feels like the summer has just begun, yet August is upon us and soon the start of another school year. The clock is ticking to get everything in order before school starts again and it can feel like you just can’t find the time (or energy) to shop for the never-ending list of school supplies, clothing, and electronics. Back-to-school shopping costs enough, so the least you can do is save yourself a little time throughout the whole process.
Here are the best time-saving back-to-school hacks to help you through this busy season. And while you’re saving time, you’ll actually wind up saving some money, too.
- Lists Are Life-Savers
The number one, most important tip to save time this back-to-school season is to operate with a list. The list is your friend and keeps you on track with what you need to buy. In fact, consider creating two lists: one for all the “must-haves” on Day 1 of school and the second for everything else that can wait. Write down which stores have (or most likely will have) the items on your list so that you also know where you’ll want to purchase from.
- Map Your Route in Advance
With your life-saving list, you can map the most efficient shopping route possible. If you like to make back-to-school shopping an experience with your kids, enjoy! Just make sure you know where you’re going and for what items so that you can plan the most efficient driving route. Start furthest from the house and work your way back or vice versa. Avoid ping-ponging all over town and around again. Having a map of the stores you are going to for specific items will also prevent you from wasting time in the stores. Just go to the department you need, get what you came for and leave. Stay on task and don’t be tempted by sales signs and pretty things. You save time and your budget by sticking to your list and your agenda.
- Shop Early
There is truth to the old saying, “The early bird gets the worm.” There are less people shopping when stores first open in the morning making your shopping experience more expedient. Retailers also start the promotions earlier and earlier in the season these days. Take advantage of the back-to-school promotions when they start to avoid waiting in long lines. Also, to avoid the goose chase of hunting down the last 3 ring pocket notebook that no one has in stock but the teacher is adamant that your child needs it on day one.
- Shop Late
Similarly, consider waiting until after school starts for the non-essential items on your back-to-school shopping list. After the back-to-school frenzy, crowds thin out and retailers even tend to lower prices, making it more affordable.
- Shop Online
This may very well be one of the savviest things you can do for back-to-school shopping. There is no driving time required and no lines to wait on. You can shop online before bed, on your lunch break, or any time you have a few minutes to consult your shopping list and make a purchase. You enjoy the added benefits of online-only deals and specials and being able to easily compare prices of items across various retailer websites in the least amount of time.
- Stock Up/Take Stock
There are just certain items that you know you need every year. And while most of us don’t want to tie our money up in inventory, there are certain items that it may make sense to buy in bulk so that you have plenty throughout the year and into the next school year. If you stock-up on items like notepads, pens, pencils, index cards, poster boards, printer ink, paper, etc. make sure you are keeping everything organized so that you don’t lose track of what you already have. Just because you know you need certain items for school, doesn’t mean you need to rebuy them every year, making it one less thing you need to make time for.
So as you ready yourself and your family for back-to-school, remember that even if time is tight, there are ways to accomplish all your shopping really effectively. You have many options to spend less time hunting for the items you need and want with just a little preparation and shopping strategy.
Do you have some more tips to share on ways you’ve maximized your back-to-school shopping calendar? We’d love to hear it! Please share your ideas on our Facebook Page.
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