Whether you’re looking for school supplies, back-to-school outfits, or a new backpack and lunch box, it’s time to start creating your back-to-school shopping list. No matter if your children are going to elementary, middle, high, or college, here are some places you need to go for all your back-to-school needs.
How to Save Money
During the first few weeks of August, many retailers offer tremendous savings on school supplies. Stores like Staples, Target, Walmart, and Office Depot offer big sales, and checking the ads can result in significant savings for you and your family. Some will even price-match their competitors, so be sure to ask when you’re in the store. While not all items are eligible (things like graphic calculators and laptops still collect tax), you’ll save money on most of your shopping list. This year, Tax-Free Weekend falls on August 5-7, so mark those dates in your calendar.
First things first – check with your child’s school and teacher to determine what is needed for the upcoming year. School districts are great at providing supply lists each year for every grade, teacher, and type of class. Then, compare these lists with items you already have. Some objects, like pencils, markers, and paper, need to be replaced every year, but others, like backpacks, lunch boxes, and binders, can last for a few years, cutting down on the amount of money you will be spending.
Clothing & Shoes
With kids growing, every new school year means buying new clothes and shoes to fit. While every child and family is unique, here are some general ideas of articles of clothing to look for.
- Jeans – 3-5 pairs
- Underwear: 10 or more
- Short-sleeved tops and t-shirts: 5-6
- Long-sleeved tops and shirts: 3-5
- Sweaters/hoodies: 2-4
- Pants, tights/leggings: 3-4
- Capris, shorts, and/or skirts: 3-4
- Sneakers/athletic shoes
- Casual/dress shoes
- Sandals/flip flops/slide-on shoes
Whether your child only needs a couple of outfits or a complete wardrobe change, it really matters that kids have comfortable, clean, and well-fitting clothes they enjoy wearing.
Lunch Boxes & Snacks
Besides a high-quality lunch box or bag, there are a few other items you need to be on the look for when you’re out shopping, such as freezer packs to help keep food and drinks cold, plastic compartments for organization, and a reusable water bottle.
Here is a list of delicious snacks to buy for your children:
- Juice boxes/pouches
- Fruits and vegetables, like raisins, baby carrots, applesauce, grapes, apple slices, clementines, etc.
- Cool and refreshing snacks like yogurt, cheese slices/sticks, hummus
- Classic & crunchy: goldfish, pretzels, crackers, chips, granola bars, etc.