5 Ways to Make Back-to-School Shopping More Manageable

Filling your child's backpack with this year's essentials is much easier when you follow these 5 shopping tips.


Back-to-school time can be hectic. Transitioning children to school mode, finding and purchasing school supplies and clothing, on top of the fact that approximately 52 million parents will be searching for the same sales as you makes the whole ordeal… an ordeal!


If you’ve had bad experiences in seasons past it doesn’t mean history has to repeat itself this year. Here are five savvy tips to help you better manage your shopping, all while getting the most bang for your buck.


    • Find your child’s school supply list. This may sound like a no-brainer, but because every school has a different protocol for sending out school supply lists, this can be tricky.Today there is a better way.Start your search by going to the National School Supply Lists Directory at www.TeacherLists.com on your smartphone or tablet and search for your child’s list by zip code.


      • Keep your child’s list with you at all times. You never know when you might find a sale, so keep the list with you at all times to make sure you know what you need. Buying products you don’t need because you didn’t have your child’s list with you can lead to wasted money or wasted time waiting in line to return unnecessary items.
      • Shop retailers’ special “back-to-school” sections. Many retailers create season-specific shopping sections within their stores. Just like with Halloween and Christmas, this section is a great place to find back-to-school deals.
      • If a teacher asks for a specific color, size, etc., it’s for a reason. Many teachers color code their classes to help keep track of assignments. If the teacher asks for an orange folder, buy an orange folder. If you buy a green one, chances are you’ll have to buy an orange folder anyway.
      • If you cannot find exactly what you’re looking for, look online. If you can’t find that orange folder in stores, look at the retailer’s website. You may be able to find discounts exclusively for online orders.

    Don’t let back-to-school shopping drive you crazy. With the right resources, timing, and some patience, it can be much more manageable!

    Tim Sullivan is the founder and president of School Family Media, Inc. and the founder of TeacherLists.com. A recognized leader in all aspects of parent involvement in schools, Tim has spent his entire career in education: first as a high school teacher and administrator in NY and then as a senior manager for a New England-based fundraising company until he created School Family Media in 1999.

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