How to Make School Shopping Less Painful

Have you put out your Parent Advent Calendar yet?

I heard that term on a local radio station yesterday. They were talking about back to school time! Yahoo!

Our kids go to a charter school, and the school has been sending me lots of emails lately. The emails said stuff like “Back to School” and “School Supply Lists” and other things like that. One one hand, I’m sad summer is almost over. On the other hand, with three of my four kids not here, there will be less mud around here. At least from 8am-3pm.

I’m pretty excited about that.

What I’m not excited about is back to school shopping. It makes me feel like a deflated balloon.

There are three reasons back to school shopping is so painful:

  1. It takes all my money.
  2. There are so many other people doing the same thing.
  3. My kids are like waaahhh I don’t want that.

And depending on how many kids you have, you get to multiply that pain. Lucky you. This year I get to multiply it by three. Lucky me.

This year, I’m determined not to let the Back to School Shopping get to me. I will conquer it! I’ve made a banner, put on war paint, and I’m going to fight for what’s mine!

Here are some ways to make back to school shopping less painful. I’d love to hear your ideas too!

Try consignment stores.

Many consignment stores have specific standards so you know they have good stock. But they’re also cheaper than retail. Win-win! Check out what I got (6 pieces) yesterday for less than $20 at an Eastern Idaho consignment store Once Upon a Child:



Use Amazon to comparison shop.

I’ve checked a few online stores and wasn’t super excited about the styles or prices. I did some comparison shopping on Amazon. I love that I can do it at home and set a price range. The down side is your kid can’t try them on.

Size 10 boy jeans

**It Would Be Fun, They Said is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to**

Go by yourself or with one kid at a time.

My boys don’t care what they wear and are ok with me picking stuff out. So I just don’t bring them. My daughter does care, so I bring her. It made things so much easier.

Give your kid a dollar limit and let them choose.

I’ll be doing this when my kids are older, but several of my friends with teenagers do this. They love the power to choose, and they love to be unique to themselves. This is a totally genius idea!

Put it in your yearly budget.

It seems like back to school shopping always creeps up on us. But it’s like taxes–you can always count on them happening. So as you write up your yearly budget, be sure to include a little each month for back to school shopping. That way it doesn’t drain all your funds in August.

Do half now and half later.

I am not a marathon shopper. Which is why I love Walmart’s free grocery pick up. Oh the energy and time it saves! When it comes to buying school supplies, I have the list with me but my mind whirls with how much stuff is on there. Plus the cost adds up quick. So I like to spread it out. I call it sanity shopping.

It’s ok to keep shopping after school starts.

Two years ago, for some reason I was in a real funk when school started. I couldn’t get myself in gear. So my kids went to school with only a portion of their supplies. And you know what? They survived. It was totally fine. It took me another week or two to get the rest of the supplies. And nobody died. So if you’re feeling stress because of a deadline, don’t. Relax and just go with the flow.

How do you make back to school shopping less painful?

8 thoughts on “How to Make School Shopping Less Painful

  1. I’ve never thought about school shopping at the consignment shop. But I do half now half later. I ususally buy one or two outfits now and wait until the weather turns cooler to buy jeans, sweaters, etc. One thing I got to do this year was to participate in my community’s school supplies give away. My kids got all of their school supplies without costing me a fortune.


  2. Haha love the point about not needing everything by the due date!! I’m a college student, and I find that even for things like textbooks, some shopping is best done after classes start-since even mandatory readings aren’t so depending on the teacher. Best of luck for the new school year!!


  3. Man I hate back to school shopping. It’s a nightmare and I dread it every year. My daughter is 13. Headed into the 8th grade. So I normally just go into her closet find what she’s been hiding in the back of the closet and if it fits it turns into new school clothes lol and then we just find shirts or pants to match. Her feet are finally done growing (thank goodness) my struggle is jeans. She’s tall for her age. And slim in the waist. I get through it by praying and then taking the first day of school off from work and treating myself to wine! Lol


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