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Mendo Lake Family Life

5 Back to School Shopping Tips

Perhaps no time of year is as bittersweet for parents as the back-to-school season. Gone are the relaxing days of summer, but back are the days when kids get excited about school and the extracurricular activities that come with it. One aspect few parents enjoy is the annual school supply shopping trip. Students of all ages need school supplies and parents with more than one child in school might cringe at the costs. There are ways to save, take a look at these ideas to ease the financial pain.

1) Take inventory

Most parents remember the last day of school growing up, when pens, papers and notebooks were set aside for the summer the moment the final bell rang. However, unless kids threw everything in the trash on their way out of school, chances are many of their supplies from last year are still lying around the house. While last year's notebooks may not be reusable, locate pens, rulers and other supplies that are in good shape, and take inventory of what you can reuse and what new items should be purchased.

2) Make a list

Today's school supplies are flashier than ever, essentially transforming the school supply aisle into something that would fit right in at the local toy store. Kids are typically as mesmerized by the school supply aisle as they are when they visit a toy store, so parents should make a list before heading out and stick to that list to avoid overspending.

3) Start shopping early

Many of today's teachers post a class syllabus online well in advance of the first day of school. The syllabus typically lists the supplies and textbooks required.

4) Purchase supplies that excite your child

In essence, school supplies are designed to help children be the best students they can be and inspire them to do their best work. With the right supplies, kids are prepared to achieve and succeed.

5) Back to School Sales abound

Local Retail Stores: Check for local savings, coupons, two-for-one sales and specials are all happening now and can help with savings, especially when buying for more than one student.

Online savings: Don’t forget to check for online deals—many sites offer coupons and other savings, it’s just a click away.