Ready for the back-to-school shopping season? In this edition of our back-to-school shopping Q&A series, parenting and shopping pro Holly Duce from Mommies with Cents shares her back-to-school shopping expertise.
What are the must-have items on your kids’ back to school shopping list?
For our family, we have a few must-have basics that help stretch the kids’ wardrobes from summer to fall and winter. We stock up on long sleeve tees and thermal shirts for both boys and girls and basic black and grey leggings for the girls. The long sleeved shirts can be worn under sleeveless dresses and short sleeve tees when the weather cools down. Leggings can be added under dresses for the same reason. Jeans for all of the kids are also a must.
What suggestions do you have for parents trying to shop with children of varying ages?
Definitely budget a little more for the older children. They’ll have more specific requests for name brands, etc., while the little ones won’t care as much. Also, purchasing better quality clothing for the older children means they’ll be more likely to be passed down.
What should parents avoid when back to school shopping?
Avoid last minute shopping, especially on weekends. If possible, start shopping mid-summer. Visit stores during the morning hours on weekdays to avoid crowds.
What are your favorite tips and tricks for saving money?
Shop summer clearance for cool tees that can be layered with thermal shirts or long sleeve tees for the fall and winter
How can parents and kids avoid burnout when back to school shopping?
Do the majority of the shopping alone, without children. Buy socks, underwear, jeans — all the basics. Then plan an outing with each child separately to pick up a few things to add their personal touches and to buy shoes so they can try them on!
How much time and money should families allocate?
It’s a good idea to set a budget before hand to avoid overspending but this number depends on the needs of each family as well as their financial situation. As far as time, if you aren’t doing any online shopping, plan on at least 2-3 outings for school supplies and clothing. If you try to squeeze everything into one day, be prepared for some frustration and extra stops as you likely won’t find everything you need at the store(s) you plan to shop at.
How does online shopping aide in your back to school purchasing?
Online shopping is a huge time saver for me and it also helps me to plan and budget better. Plus, I can take advantage of online discounts and cash back from sites like Ebates and Extrabux.
Holly Duce is a mom of 3 young children and a former nanny. She currently spends her time writing for her blog Mommies with Cents to help families save money and discover useful new products. She enjoys shopping, spending time with family and traveling.
For more updates from Holly, like Mommies with Cents on Facebook or follow her on Twitter at @mommieswithcent.