Skip to main content

Sponsored Content

10 Ways to Simplify Back-to-School Shopping

Jun 29, 2015 04:03AM ● Published by Family Features

While kids and parents alike eagerly await the fresh start of a new school year, the back-to-school season is not without its share of stressors for busy families. The start of school means new schedules, teachers, shoes, backpacks and friends; as well as new academic challenges.

Adding some fun and excitement to the newness can help smooth the way. For example, allowing kids to help choose their outfits for the first day of school can help diffuse that nervous anticipation. Similarly, the chance to put a fresh set of pens to use or show off a cool new notebook can provide a distraction from those first-day jitters.

If the shopping itself is adding stress to your household, ease the back-to-school burden on your family with these helpful tips to simplify shopping for the school year ahead.

Make note of your inventory. School lists often carry over each school year, so make sure you aren’t buying multiples of things you already own. Some supplies are more exciting when refreshed every year, but buying the same old boring ruler year after year is simply a waste of money.

Make a list with your children. Put everything you need on that list, and be clear that once the list is done, it’s done. Having everyone on the same page with a complete list helps ensure nothing vital is forgotten, and the list can serve as a handy tool to keep your budget in check. Get uber organized using vibrant Sarasa gel pens by Zebra to create lists color-coded by kid or category to make your shopping more manageable.

Begin shopping as early as possible. Hunt bargains before the traditional back-to-school season to get the best deals. Not only will you save some cash, shopping before the rush will give you a wider selection to choose from, so you’re sure to find the items you need in the styles you (and your kids) want. Spreading the shopping over several weeks or months also allows you to distribute the expense across several pay periods, helping lessen the chance that you blow your monthly budget with one mega shopping excursion.

Be a savvy online shopper. Check out your favorite brands and retailers online, and sign up for their email alerts, so you’ll be in the know when the best deals hit. Many retailers now offer online-only specials, so watch ads closely to know when you’re better served making purchases in-store or online. Also keep an eye out for free or reduced shipping for extra savings that make it even cheaper than buying in person when you factor in the cost of gas. Remember that you can also rely on social media to follow back-to-school offers and hashtags.

Create a back-up bin at home. You may find that your kids consistently run out of certain items midyear. Devote a special area of your home to keep extras in stock, and take advantage of sales during back-to-school season or buy in bulk to get a better price.

Put quality ahead of price. While it’s tempting to go for cheap when your list is long, remember that sometimes quality buys actually save more in the long run. You can buy a ton of cheap pens that skip, or simply stop working. Or you can look at alternatives, such as Zebra’s Z-Grip brand, which are affordable, quality pens that allow children to focus on writing, not on the pen. Known for delivering a smooth-flowing writing experience at a great value, a Z-Grip pen truly delivers for young learners.

Make your children shopping buddies. Involve your kids in the back-to-school shop- ping process by giving them a budget. Help them allocate money for all the expenses, including clothing, school supplies, shoes and more. Use the opportunity to talk about how shopping smart for the necessities can leave room for some fun buys, too.

Reduce and reuse. Save plastic and money by encouraging kids to embrace reusable items, such as lunch bags in place of paper sacks and plastic containers instead of sandwich bags. If water bottles are allowed at school, look for a durable refillable option that can be used again and again.

Make the old new again. Turn barely used items into something new by decorating or adding stickers. Not only is this a fun activity that can help get the kids excited about and engaged in planning for the year ahead, it’s easy on the budget and eco-friendly. Keep leftover supplies on hand to revive the enthusiasm with fresh designs at the end of the quarter or semester.

Swap with other moms. Make back-to-school time more fun by hosting a swap event with other moms for clothing, backpacks, shoes, etc. It seems that kids are forever trading with their friends, so embrace that mindset and see what exciting new treasures you can find for your kids to call their own.

Make It a Peaceful Shopping Experience
Though back-to-school shopping can be fun, it can also be overwhelming. These tricks may help you add some Zen to the experience, or at least cut some of the chaos.

Know yourself: Are you better at doing all of your shopping all at once, or would you rather make separate trips throughout a couple of weeks to ease the stress? There is no one “right” way to tackle back-to-school shopping; just go with what works best for you.

Create a democratic shopping experience: Instead of taking it upon yourself to get the supplies you think your kids need, turn it into a fun experience for every-one to enjoy. Ask what your kids want and what colors they like. Encourage them to stimulate creativity with whimsical supplies, such as the fun and funky patterns of Cadoozles mechanical pencils.

Want your high school or college bound academians to have a little extra swag for school? Look for a few simple purchases that reflect their confidence, such as Zebra Steel pens, with a sleek design perfect for the advancing student.

Find your zen during back-to-school shopping at www.zebrapen.com/findzen.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (children)

Sponsored by Zebra Pen Corp.

Family Features Family Features Lifestyle

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Yoga in the Patch

    10/19/2017
    05:45PM — 06:45PM

    Looking for a fun and FREE activity to do with the kids? Join us for Yoga in the Patch, generousl...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Halloween Fun Day Fundraiser

    10/21/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    The whole family will find something fun to do...we will have a Best Costume Contest for humans, ...


  • Join in this free fall seminar on the best fall vegetables and other "fall-tastic" bedding plants...


  • Boo Bayou Fall Festival

    10/21/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    Celebrate Halloween with a Fall Festival for the whole family at Vermilionville's Living Museum &...


  • Shake Your Trail Feather Festival

    10/21/2017
    11:30AM — 06:00PM

    On October 21, 2017, the TECHE Project will host the 6th annual Shake Your Trail Feather Festival...


  • Opening of "Shadows at The Shadows"

    10/21/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Comedy Corner

    10/21/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Lafayette Comedy presents Comedy Corner at The Greenroom *** SPECIAL SATURDAY EDITION *** Satur...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    10/23/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Citizenship Class

    10/23/2017
    01:30PM — 05:30PM

    VITA will be offering another round of our free classes called “Preparing for the Citizenship Tes...


  • Acadian Hospice and Palliative Care is looking for volunteers to help provide services that are u...


  • Spend an evening with UL Lafayette’s English Department as students and faculty present their ori...


  • Ladies Night Karaoke

    10/18/2017
    09:00PM — 02:00AM

    Double whammy! Not only is Karaoke back every Wednesday, but so is Ladies Night! Ladies, come in ...


  • Yoga in the Patch

    10/19/2017
    05:45PM — 06:45PM

    Looking for a fun and FREE activity to do with the kids? Join us for Yoga in the Patch, generousl...


  • Halloween Fun Day Fundraiser

    10/21/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    The whole family will find something fun to do...we will have a Best Costume Contest for humans, ...


  • Join in this free fall seminar on the best fall vegetables and other "fall-tastic" bedding plants...


  • Boo Bayou Fall Festival

    10/21/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    Celebrate Halloween with a Fall Festival for the whole family at Vermilionville's Living Museum &...


  • Shake Your Trail Feather Festival

    10/21/2017
    11:30AM — 06:00PM

    On October 21, 2017, the TECHE Project will host the 6th annual Shake Your Trail Feather Festival...


  • Opening of "Shadows at The Shadows"

    10/21/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Comedy Corner

    10/21/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Lafayette Comedy presents Comedy Corner at The Greenroom *** SPECIAL SATURDAY EDITION *** Satur...


  • New Iberia Beneath the Balconies 2017

    10/22/2017
    12:00PM — 02:00AM

    Iberia Preservation Alliance and the Main Street Program, will take place this year Sunday, Octob...


  • Kevin Naquin & the Ossun Playboys

    10/22/2017
    03:00PM — 09:00PM

    Bar hours 3-9 p.m. Live music from 4-8 p.m. Happy Hour 3-4 p.m. 21+ ONLY


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    10/23/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Citizenship Class

    10/23/2017
    01:30PM — 05:30PM

    VITA will be offering another round of our free classes called “Preparing for the Citizenship Tes...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    10/24/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    10/25/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Artist Talk with Steven Breaux

    10/25/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Explore the work of UL Lafayette Professor of Visual Arts, Steven Breaux. This talk is presented ...


  • Ladies Night Karaoke

    10/25/2017
    09:00PM — 02:00AM

    Double whammy! Not only is Karaoke back every Wednesday, but so is Ladies Night! Ladies, come in ...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    10/26/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Movement Lab is a group of dance artists and enthusiasts that come together to explore and experi...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    10/27/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Halloween Bikes and Barks Pet Fest

    10/28/2017
    09:00AM — 02:00PM

    Come on out with your family and pet to celebrate Halloween. Dog,kid and adult costume contest $5...


  • Blessing New Iberia Harvest Festival

    10/28/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    Please come out and support Blessing New Iberia 2 nd Annual Harvest Festival. There will be ve...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    10/28/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Make & Take Halloween Container Garden

    10/28/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Dig in this fall seminar Make & Take workshop to create a festive Halloween container garden comp...


  • National Night Out On Crime - Broussard, La.

    10/28/2017
    05:30PM — 08:30PM

    34th Annual Night Out On Crime - 701 St Nazaire Rd, Broussard, LA 70518 St. Julien Park, Address


  • Entry Fee $ 3.00. Live Band performance by Gerald Broussard Jr- The Cajun Cowboy and the Stirrup...


  • Jamie Bergeron & the Kickin' Cajuns

    10/29/2017
    03:00PM — 09:00PM

    Bar hours 3-9 p.m. Happy Hour 3-4 p.m. Live music from 4-8 p.m. 21+ ONLY


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    10/30/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • We were so excited about our last CAN meeting and can’t wait to see everyone again. At this meeti...


  • Citizenship Class

    10/30/2017
    01:30PM — 05:30PM

    VITA will be offering another round of our free classes called “Preparing for the Citizenship Tes...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    10/31/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Pumpkin Palooza

    10/31/2017
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    Join us on Tuesday, October 31st for a Halloween filled night for all ages. There will be games, ...


  • Toddler Time

    11/01/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Parents and their children will enjoy story time, songs with finger play, participate in a hands-...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    11/01/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • UL Dance Department Showcase

    11/01/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for a night of dance at the museum! University students will perform solo and duet pieces...


  • Ladies Night Karaoke

    11/01/2017
    09:00PM — 02:00AM

    Double whammy! Not only is Karaoke back every Wednesday, but so is Ladies Night! Ladies, come in ...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    11/02/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Ladies Night

    11/02/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    You're Invited to our Free Ladies Night on November 2 from 6-8pm! We'll have free Wine, Hors d'oe...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    11/03/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    11/04/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Make & Take Salad Bowl

    11/04/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Dig in this fall seminar Make & Take workshop to create a salad bowl container garden complete wi...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    11/06/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


  • Citizenship Class

    11/06/2017
    01:30PM — 05:30PM

    VITA will be offering another round of our free classes called “Preparing for the Citizenship Tes...


  • Scotch Doubles (10)

    11/06/2017
    06:00PM

    Join us every other Monday for our Scotch Doubles tournament. Registration starts at 6p, tourname...


  • Shadows at The Shadows

    11/07/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Photographer and filmmaker James Edmunds' will be displaying his most recent photographs in a new...


 

 

Current Issue