September is here, and for moms this month revolves around a single idea – getting their kid(s) ready for the school season. Now, if you’re a millennial mom, chances are this is your first school ‘rodeo’ and you’re not quite sure how to go about it. There is a great number of items on the list, ranging from back-to-school clothes, shoes to books, bags, and other school supplies. All of these things cost, but there are some useful tips and tricks that will help you get absolutely everything your kid needs while staying within your budget limits or even swinging it with money to spare, so let’s get right down to it.
First things first
As a millennial mom, you know that every dollar counts, and you know your way around discounts so use that shopping-savvy brain when shopping for school supplies as well. The best thing you can do, that previous generations didn’t, is wait until the last minute. Older generations had the tendency of equipping their kids for school months ahead, but today’s smart parents know that the biggest discount and clearances happen at virtually every supply store out there – you just have to wait them out. For that purpose, make sure to follow these stores on social media platforms, because that’s where they’re actually looking to connect with you. This way you’ll receive an alert as soon as promotions, discounts and clearance sales are live, and that’s when you hit the stores.
Make sure to buy everything in bulk – from notebooks, post-its, crayons and everything else on the list. Kids tend to lose and misplace things, and beyond that, as soon as the second semester comes, they’ll want fresh supplies, and if you buy them now you won’t have anything to worry about. Bonus tip: if you can, purchase used books, whether on Amazon or from a mom you know whose kid finished the grade your kid is now. There are also forums and mom blogs where you can find a great number of moms and consult them, compare stores and prices and even purchase textbooks from them as this item on the list can be very pricey.
Ok, before jumping in and spending a great deal of money on new clothes, stop for a minute and do a closet inspection. See which items your kid has in abundance and therefore doesn’t need yet another of the same type of garment. Make a clean sweep – everything that hasn’t been worn for a year should go. Now, there are three highly efficient and economical ways to get your kids new clothes. The first one is, of course, secondhand online shops such as swap.com/back-to-school where you can find amazing quality clothes in perfect condition at a fraction of the price you would otherwise pay for a fast-fashion item.
The second is a clothes swap – if you have any mom friends, or at least online mom friends on forums and blogs, organize a clothes swap. This way you can give away clothes your kids have outgrown and get some amazing stuff in return. The great thing about kids’ clothes is even when they’re used they still look new because kids grow out of them faster than they can ruin them, so there’s really no need to spend a lot and go over your budget limits, especially on items that your kids won’t fit into the following year.
This is an item on your shopping list that must be approached with special attention. First of all, don’t go shopping without your kid. They’re the ones who have to wear the shoes and you need to make sure they fit properly and give just the right support. Some parents want to stretch the wearing time of a pair of shoes by buying a size larger, but the right way to go about this is to choose a size that leaves a thumb’s amount of room at the front of the shoe. Any more room than this, and kids’ feet won’t be held in place.
Athletic shoes are the best choice for school as they provide good support and comfort during those long days and carrying of heavy backpacks. When it comes to shoes, you want to apply the same strategy as with supplies and buy more than one pair, as eight hours a day, five days a week takes a toll on the shoe, so it’s better to stock up.
Instill the right values
Before you send them out into the world, make sure to teach your kids about the value for money concept. Make them realize that they don’t need a Justin Bieber backpack and that they shouldn’t be walking advertisements for any brand. More than that, make sure they understand that trendy items are usually made from cheap materials and that they won’t stand the test of time.