I know, I know – we’re still in the midst of the summer holidays and the last thing the kids want to think about is heading back to school in September. However, for us parents, it’s probably high time we started thinking about all the things we need to have ready and sorted before the big day. 

I used to LOVE back to school shopping when I was a kid; all the new books, bags and stationary brought me a lot of joy. However, now as a parent I can appreciate how stressful it can be for grownups… Not only do we have to contend with the crowds, lack of sizes and choice but also the financial side of things! The summer holidays mean lots of days out and fun adventures, which is great for making memories, but not so great for your finances, especially if you’re on a bit of a budget – you can find out more about budget ideas for the summer holidays by clicking the link. 

To help make the process a little easier, here are my 5 things you need to remember for back to school shopping. Good luck!  

Go early

Leaving your back to school shop until the week before is a big no-no. Everything will be picked over, there’ll be no choice, it’ll be stressful and unpleasant. I tend to head to the high street just after the midway point of the holidays and I always hit the shops early morning on a weekday. This means that the crowds won’t be there, and all the shelves will be well stocked. Giving you time to browse and less likely to make an impulse purchase. 

Don’t forget about the rest of the shop

Eventually, the Back to School aisle will get congested, but don’t worry. If you can’t get to what you need try checking out the other areas of the store. Do they have a general office section? You’ll probably find more stock there. And if you’re in a supermarket, always check the end of aisle for product stands and deals. 

Save your time as well as your money

If you have quite a list, try to get everything you need in one place. It’s better than wasting time, energy and car miles by heading to lots of other shops. However if you only need a few pieces, then head to a smaller shop and skip the crowds!

Don’t bring the little ones

If you have pre-schoolers, then (if possible) leave them with a relative while you go shopping. It’ll be less stressful; you can move from one place to another quickly and won’t end up with mystery items in your basket! 

Shop for quality. Not just a low price

It’s tempting to buy that cheap rucksack. But it’s not worth the money you spent if it doesn’t last past the first term. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more to get a little more. Or if you’re working on a tight budget, do plenty of research reviews/recommendations etc on particular products before you buy.