While it’s only July and we still have a lot of summer to enjoy, retailers across the country are gearing up for back to school shopping. Have you seen the displays and lists yet? While I’m mildly excited for my kids to head back to school, I’m not excited about the expense that comes with back to school shopping.  From new shoes and socks, to back packs, school supplies, and funding lunch accounts it can get expensive.

I’d like to share a few tips that I’ve learned over the years; some of these come from other smart moms who have given me advice. You know who you are!

First of all, start early. Some of the best sales are in July. The buy one get one sales don’t always offer the best prices. Secondly, purchase your kids school supplies directly from the school. The price for “the box” is typically less than doing it on your own (I’ve checked). In addition, the school may get a kickback. Our school offers the School Tool Box program and for every box of supplies ordered and shipped the company donates a meal to a starving child in partnership with Feed My Starving Children. I like it when my shopping can also help others. And lastly, I’ve learned this one the hard way, invest in a good quality backpack. At first I freaked out when I saw the price of backpacks, but I soon learned that the investment is worth it. I purchased an inexpensive bag one year, it lasted only one year. The next year, as my son got older, he was rougher on the back pack and I went through two in one year. Last year I finally made the investment and I’m happy to say that the bag still looks good and will be used again this year! I clearly should have listen to the other moms who warned me about back packs.

Well, that’s all for now. Good luck with your back to school shopping! 39 days until school starts, but who’s counting? Me!