There are four words in the English language that can bring chills down the spines of both parents and children – Back to School Shopping.
When I was a child I hated to hear those words because I knew going back to school was right around the corner. I actually enjoyed the shopping part. I still remember how I would perfectly label all of my items and everything was in pristine condition. About a week after school started things were doodled on, pages were missing and I lost most of my pencils.
As a parent, back to school shopping can be very stressful. You have to run all over time trying to catch the best deals and weekly sales. You also have to keep up with the latest trends because you know your child is going to want the “must have” characters on their backpacks, lunch boxes and school supplies.
My kids are teenagers, but I remember all too well how they had to have specific characters on all of their supplies.
I won’t even get started on back to school clothes shopping. That in itself is a nightmare, especially when your children get older and have to have the most trendy outfits and expensive shoes. Our daughter went from wanting a Barbie backpack to a Michael Korrs backpack practically overnight.
Another stressful thing parents think about when it’s back to school time is keeping on top of all of your child’s (or children’s) after school activities. You have to be able to juggle a lot of things at one time. It can be very overwhelming.
Here are some tips that I personally use to help alleviate back to school stress.
Stock up on supplies
Whenever we come across a great sale on school supplies we always stock up on them. We intentionally buy more than we need so that we have it throughout the year and when the next school year starts again. Such supplies include pencils, loose leaf paper, spiral notebooks, pens, highlighters and markers. These are items you can use for many school years (elementary through high school).
Because we stock up we rarely need to buy more supplies before school starts. It’s a great way to avoid the back to school crowds and lines.
Re-purpose School Supplies
At the end of each school year I always take stock of what my children have left over. When it comes to binders I have the kids reuse them for the next school year. Most of the time they are in decent shape. Sometimes they just need to be wiped down a bit with a wet cloth. Kids can even decorate them to give them a new look using permanent markers, stickers and even colorful duct tape.
Hold off buying a new wardrobe
If you want to save money on back to school outfits, wait to go shopping until October.
Kids always want a brand new outfit for the first day of school, which is fine. After the first day or two kids go back to wearing what they have in their closets.
If you wait until October you can take advantage of great sales. It also gives kids (and parents) a chance to see what are the “in styles” to wear.
But we always buy the essentials before school starts, like new underwear, socks and undergarments (tank tops, undershirts…). In fact, we stock up on them. You can never have too many underwear and socks.
Fruit of the Loom is offering “Bonus Packs” of kids underwear, just in time for back to school shopping. The Bonus Packs come with three extra underwear. That is a great bonus! Fruit of the Loom was kind enough to send us a package.
The Fruit of the Loom Bonus Packs with +3 extra underwear are available at Target or Walmart.
Fruit of the Loom is also hosting a contest called Fruit of the Loom Bonus Bonus Contest.
The contest gives moms and dads the opportunity to win a variety of prizes including:
- 1 free month of Hello Fresh prepackaged meals
- Movie Night out at AMC Theaters
- Pampering from a national massage company
- Dinner at your favorite restaurant
- New beauty looks from a beauty-box subscription
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 or older. Enter by 11:59 p.m. ET 8/14/16. For Official Rules, including prize descriptions and how to enter without purchase, visit http://bit.ly/29M9wo9. Void where prohibited.
Entering the contest is super easy.
- Follow @FruitOfTheLoom on Twitter or Instagram;
- Tweet or Post a photograph of any Fruit of the Loom® underwear product and/or package, opened or unopened, along with a caption telling your most humorous stress-related story from the back to school shopping season.
- You MUST also include the hashtag #BonusBonusContest.
I received one of the Fruit of the Loom Bonus Bonus Packs with one of the prizes you could possibly win if you enter. Mine came with a AMC movie theater gift card. You can read more about it below.
Invest in a good calendar
I cannot stress enough how having a good calendar to help you keep track of things and stay organized is a MUST. I update ours weekly (usually on the weekend for the following week). That way I can see the upcoming week in advance and know what I have to do and where I have to go. Without it I would be totally frazzled not knowing from one day to the next what I have to do.
Take some “me” time
It’s OK to take some time to yourself. As a parent we have a lot of pressure put on us to ensure our kids are totally prepared for the new school year. There are things to buy, forms to fill out, haircuts to schedule for… it can be a lot. I think the more kids you have the more stressful it can be too. There is a lot you have to juggle. Therefore it’s essential that you take some time for yourself to focus on the things that you enjoy and/or find relaxing. Don’t worry… your kids will start off the new school year just fine.
If you can find at least 30 minutes per day to do something that YOU enjoy and/or something JUST FOR YOU, that would be the best way to alleviate the stress that surrounds back to school time.
Something else I love to do (great “me” time or a fun time with a friend or loved one) is going to the movies. I love the movie going experience. Watching movies at home is fine, but nothing beats seeing a film on the big screen. Some movies are especially better on the big screen.
One of the Fruit of the Loom Bonus Bonus Contest prizes is a Movie Night out at AMC Theaters. The prize is an AMC gift card that can be used at AMC theaters across the country.
I LOVE going to the movie theater. I have even gone to see movies on my own, but nothing beats going to see a movie with my husband (aka “Date Night”). We try to get out to the movies at least every other month, usually a few times during the summer because so many great movies come out in the summer months.
Here is my hubby and me enjoying The Secret Life of Pets at our local AMC theater with the super comfortable and relaxing reclining seats. Talk about relaxing. I wasn’t stressing over a thing.
Are YOU ready for back to school time? Have you started back to school shopping yet?
What do you think about Fruit of the Loom Bonus Packs and the fun contest? Will you be on the lookout for the Bonus Packs? Will you be entering the contest?
What do you do personally do to ensure that you don’t get too stressed during the start of the new school year?
Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.
*I have partnered with Fruit of the Loom to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.