Well there is still plenty of summer sun to soak up, but back-to-school time is just around the corner and that means stocking up. School systems that serve The Retreat at Mountain Brook begin their first day of classes ranging from August 8 to August 27.
The Idea Specialists© at The Retreat put together these ideas to help you and your kids transition to the school year.
Tip 1: Take inventory before you buy!
Sure, you need to download the list of school supplies provided by your child’s school, but before you spend hard earned dollars, take an inventory of what you may already have. You’ll find that you may be able to reuse items such as:
- Lunch Box
- Flash Drive
- Pencil Box
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Ear Buds (only for use outside of the classroom of course)
- Markers/Colored Pencils/Crayons (Wait, who are we kidding? That is probably going to be a brand-new purchase. Below, we’ll tell you about local stores and websites to visit so that you can get the items you need at low back-to-school-prices.)
Tip 2: Make a list
Before you buy anything, you’ll need a list to check off items in your current inventory (remember Tip 1?) so that you only buy the things you need. Review classroom lists provided on your school’s web site and mark off items you already have. Once you have your final list, it’s time to shop.
Stores near The Retreat include Walmart, which offers free two-day delivery on a wide variety of back-to-school items. Also, you can shop a unique Walmart feature called Kidbox, which allows you to solve back-to-school shopping for clothes with up to 50% off premium brands. It’s easy to use—just take a brief quiz on your child or children’s style and get a Kidbox delivered to your door with outfits your kid can try at no initial cost. Pricing ranges from $48 and up depending on the items you choose to keep.
Also nearby is Walgreen’s, located just 1.4 miles from The Retreat, which has a wide variety of school supplies, coupled with the convenience of quickly getting in and out of the store and back to the home you love!
Target Back to School – offers same day delivery, order pick up, and drive up service. Locations near The Retreat are at Brookwood Village in Homewood, Alabama or in Trussville.
And, for tech savvy family members who need to organize your list by store, check out Cozi, a free app that lets you keep events and activities all in one place, keep and share the lists for each store in real time. Plus, you can also store recipes, plan meals, and shop for ingredients while using from your mobile or a computer. Now that’s a timesaver we love.
Tip 3: Do your homework first.
Every week, stores nearby and online will feature loss leaders, or items with a low cost designed to encourage you to shop and acquire both those products, and other regularly priced items that you may also need. So, before you walk out the door, sign up for weekly ads to be delivered to your email. Check your list and plan your shopping accordingly. And that leads us to Tip 4!
Tip 4: Price match
Many stores have a price match policy. You’ll have to visit individual websites to see specific stipulations. For instance, Target matches its own website (sometimes online prices are cheaper than in stores) and competitors’ in store and online prices. And if you purchase an item at Target and find it cheaper somewhere else up to 14 days later, you can bring in the receipt and receive the difference. Staples features a 110% Price Match policy where you not only get items at the same price but also receive another 10%.
Tip 5: Shop when you have time!
Of course, busy parents may not have time to make the rounds (raise your hand if you’ve ever shopped at midnight! We have!) Try amazon.com for school supply needs. If you are a college student, you can sign up for a free six-month Amazon Prime membership and get free shipping along with a host of other benefits.
Tip 6: Coupons
Don’t forget the power of couponing. Stores we like that are offering back-to-school deals include:
- Office Depot has 20% Off Qualifying School Supply purchases. PLUS, you can shop online and pick up in the store, even scoring those $0.10 notebooks.
- Staples has a 20% Off School Supplies Coupon when you purchase a backpack.
School shopping doesn’t have to tank your finances. You can save money and time on school supplies! And, by using these great tips, you’ll see that this is a test you can pass with flying colors!