As the summer winds down and we prepare to get our kiddos ready to go back to school let’s take a moment to reflect. Reflect on the long and lazy days of summer when we have no schedules, no lunches to pack and no homework to nag about. Ahhhhh….so nice. Ok, the moment has passed, now let’s make our “to do” lists and get going because the first day of school is just around the corner! Here are a few ways I have discovered to save time, money and sanity while still making this a memorable transition back to school.

It is never too early to start shopping for back to school. If you want to save the most money on school clothes or uniforms shop when things are on sale. Buying items like socks and underwear in bulk packages gives you the best savings, look for “buy one get one” deals on these items. Usually at the end of a season is the best time to get a great deal on the current season. Hence bathing suits are usually on sale in August not May and school clothes in June not September. Don’t wait until the last minute for school supplies because you will pay more and have less selection.  The end of September is a great time to stock up on school supplies for the next year. Smaller retailers like drugstores and supermarkets sell school supplies up to 80% off at the end of the back to school season.  Comparison shopping with online sales vs in store sales is a great idea because many online stores carry a greater selection of colors and sizes with deeper discounts and coupon codes. You can save on shipping by buying all your items at one online store like Target, who offers free shipping if you spend over a certain amount. Buy used, consignment stores usually have great bargains on gently used children’s clothing and if you have clothes your kids have outgrown, you can sell them and make up the difference on what you buy. Cleaning out your kid’s closets is a great way to make room for the new clothes while getting rid of the old ones. Shop flea markets or swap meets for the best deals on higher ticket items like sneakers, jeans and backpacks. The end of September is a great time to stock up on school supplies for the next year. Smaller retailers like drugstores and supermarkets sell school supplies at up to 80% off at the end of the back to school season. 

Some ways to make this back to school year memorable for your family is to celebrate with a special back to school breakfast or dinner on the first day of school. A number candle that represents the grade they are entering stuck in a cupcake or muffin adds and extra special touch to their morning. Don’t forget to take their first day photo and have them hold a sign or chalkboard stating the grade and year. You can also take a photo on the last day of school of them holding the photo from the first day! See how much they have grown? If your kids feel a little melancholy about going back, let them help with some of the preparations. They can pick out a special lunchbox or pencil box and decorate it with stickers and make it their own. Have them fill out or help the little ones fill out an “all about me” questionnaire for their teacher. A bedtime story the night before the first day that relates to the grade they are entering will ease their nerves and will get them excited about the new year that is beginning. I have created a Pinterest board called “Back to School Ideas” to help inspire you even more.  These are sure fire ways to ease into the transition of a new school year. Remember to keep it EZ! Truly, Kristin