Make Back-To-School Simple by Managing your Spending, Routine, and More

Back to School Shopping Tips for Parents

Make Back-To-School Simple by Managing your Spending, Routine, and More

Back-to-school season always starts earlier than we expect it to. Of course, there's the big fall kick off that arrives after the lazy days of summer, where we’re putting the final touches on our car-pooling plans and marking our calendars for the first parent nights. But far before then, we start rallying our kids back into school mode, after they've had months of sleeping late and playing outside all day. Oftentimes, that final back-to-school push is the one we most dread because we’re rushing to get everything in place in time for the first day of school. But what if it doesn’t have to be so stressful?

Back-to-school tips for parents can really apply to any time of the year, but experience tells us that when preparing for a new school year, you should always plan in advance on as many levels as you can to minimize stress. As summer approaches and we begin to dread the idea of preparing for another school year, the first thing we should begin to wrangle into reality is the new schedule.

Plan for School Spending and Look for Special Deals

We all feel the financial impact of kids returning to school—especially once schools start requiring more and more books or specific materials for projects later in the year. In fact, for some families, back-to-school is the costliest time of the year. For tips to manage back to school spending, we suggest a couple of money-saving tricks. For clothes, shop on tax-free weekends, and for larger items like laptops, tablets, or headphones, look for deals online and price-matching.

And for school supplies? Find a place where you can buy all your kid’s school supplies in one place, as school supply bundles tend to save more money than buying various materials from different places.

Let Edukit Handle Your Kids' School Supplies

When it comes to school supplies, breathe a sigh of relief because Edukit does all your shopping for you with the convenience of a couple of clicks and at the price of a school supply bundle. Your school sends us their teacher's customized supply list, which allows you to order all their children's school supplies online in less time than it takes to get the kids in the car. Edukit also delivers the kits so the kids are ready to go on day one.  We encourage any interested parent or teacher to contact us now, in preparation for next school year to obtain a quote for your school.  Preparedness from all angles is key for a successful back to school season.

Create a Realistic Plan to Transition Kids into a School Schedule

Going from midnight star-gazing to lights out at nine doesn't happen overnight, so we have to create a realistic plan that takes kids from relaxed summer hours to a tightened school-ready schedule. Try slipping in earlier bedtimes beginning a few weeks before school starts so that by the time the big day arrives, your kids will be accustomed to the new schedule.

Perhaps harder than getting your kids in bed at night is getting them out of bed in the morning. We like to plan activities, surprises, or rewards that are so delightful, even the groggiest child can't resist them. Have breakfast out and then a final day at the water park? A trip to the bookstore or movies? Their favorite cartoon airs in the morning? Utilize whatever motivates your kids to help them have a smoother transition when the school bell chimes.

Plan Ahead for Healthy School Year Eating

Summer and holiday eating schedules are often whenever and whatever for many families, but school and nutrition go hand-in-hand in order to keep brain cells firing. The two weeks prior to school starting is the perfect time to get lunches sorted. Will Mom or Dad help pack lunches, or can you trust the kids to do it? For kids buying school lunch, find out how to log on to put money in their accounts ahead of time and cross that task off your list.

We also like to do some meal planning and even create freezer meals before school starts, keeping in mind that time will be in shorter supply come September. Sheet pan meals, which allow you to cook vegetables and protein together with little cleanup, can be a big help, as can slow cooker or pressure cooker meals. Maybe create a list of fallback meals that can be frozen afterwards, or if you are particularly organized, choose a large meal for each week in the month to order the ingredients ahead of time.

Make Sure Everyone Has Space to Learn and Work at Home

The whole reason we send our kids to school is for them to learn, and we want that learning to continue at home when they have homework or projects to complete. Just like us, they need a well-equipped space where they can consistently go to concentrate and complete their tasks. Set up a place that avoids TV and distractions and has space for each child. If necessary, use cardboard dividers that your kids can decorate for a more private space.

Parents Need Back-To-School Organization as Well

Some back-to-school organization is for the benefit of parents. For example, we love the idea of a parent inbox into which kids put permission slips that need to be signed, notes from teachers, lunch menus, PTA reminders, homework they want you to look at - anything that needs a parent's eyes and shouldn’t be forgotten about. The key to making this work is diligence on the part of both kids and parents and making sure the box stays in one place.

Another brilliant idea is for parents who drive their kids to school: an on-the-go car kit. Did someone forget breakfast? Grab a granola or cereal bar from the car kit. Need a last-minute signature? There's a pen in the car kit. Safety pin? Lunch money? The answers to today’s test? All in the car kit - except maybe that last one.

Family organization is nothing without a calendar listing everyone's activities, but the days of giant paper calendars and sharpies may be becoming a thing of the past. With sports, activities, and everyday life, we couldn't survive without a family digital calendar so that every family member knows where to be when, what time, and with what gear.

Practice Routines to Ensure Safety

One of the biggest elements of going back-to-school involves ensuring that everyone is safe as they follow the new routines. If your kids are taking the bus, teach your children bus safety rules and practice with them. Kids who will be walking or riding bikes to school need several practice runs with Mom or Dad before soloing.

Getting the kids ready for back to school may not be one of life's great pleasures, but with Edukit and some careful planning, the transition doesn't have to be traumatic. Plan for back-to-school early and take the stress out of the start of the school year.