The complete guide to back-to-school shopping for your children

Back-to-school shopping time feels like an exciting rite of passage for your kids and you. But there is no denying that it is also a major chore. 

Of course, buying new lunch bags, backpacks, and even new clothes is fun. And witnessing your child growing and developing their personalities has its own charm, too. However, this annual ritual tends to overwhelm most parents emotionally and organizationally. 

If you are feeling confused as to where to start and how to proceed with your shopping, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s giving you a complete idea regarding back-to-school shopping for your children.

Where to begin your back-to-school shopping

To start with, check with your kid’s school for the particular supply lists because that tends to vary a lot. It varies from teacher to teacher, school to school, and grade to grade. After this, compare this list of suggested items for school with the ones your kids already have. 

Pencil boxes, binders, lunch bags, and backpacks can last for a number of years if they are well-made. Other times, they will wear out and need replacement. The Ultimate Back-to-School Collection would be the one where each of these items is in mint condition. If you notice any fraying on the sides of the bags or folders, make sure you buy new ones in time.

Nowadays, some schools have teachers buying most of the school supplies for the students. It helps ensure that every kid has the same items for class, which the teachers want. In such cases, they set up a fund where you donate to cover the cost of the supplies.

Cost of the back-to-school supplies

Your fun back-to-school shopping can burn quite the hole in your pocket if you aren’t careful. It helps to spend some time checking the prices at different retailers because that can result in major savings. Well, that’s the beauty of shopping online. You can compare and get the exact things you want right at your doorstep. Moreover, you can also use various discount codes for online shopping which you can easily find on

It is also worth mentioning that price is not the be-all and end-all of buying the supplies. You need to compare the quality on offer with the price. The reviews can give you some direction in that regard.

PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) and other school funds are generally available to cover the expenses of school supplies when the cost is a hardship. So, it would help if you asked your school administration or teacher when your family needs assistance. Also, you might want to look at churches and other charitable organizations in your area if you need assistance.

Getting accessories for the school

Your kid’s accessory has to come down to individualistic styles and personal tastes, though almost every kid will require a backpack. Many states that provide tax-free weekend events for back-to-school shopping specify that accessories aren’t tax-free. So, you will need to check the laws in the state. A few of the accessories you need to consider are:

  • Backpack
  • Belt
  • Face masks
  • Hair clips and ponytail holders

Clothes to include on your list

It is no secret that kids grow up like anything. So, the back-to-school season is a good time for reviewing your kid’s school supplements with required items. Given below is a list of recommended clothing that many children will need to have in the closets. But there aren’t any perfect quantities, only the one that works the best for your budget and your kids. However, keep in mind that there is no reason to replace anything if items from the last year still fit.

  • Five pairs of leggings and socks
  • Three to five pairs of jeans
  • Two to four Long-sleeved tops
  • Two to four hoodies
  • Two to four sweaters

Additional back-to-school supplies

Get in touch with your kids’ school for a particular list of the back-to-school supplies you will have to buy before you shop. Do not assume the necessary school supplies for your kid will be the same as that of a sibling in the same grade previously.

The lists tend to vary dramatically, annually, even when they are from the same teacher. Make sure you get the list from that school. It will help you in making sure that you don’t waste money and time on unnecessary items or lack items that are needed.

If your kids are in high school or middle school, they will require more writing-related stuff. On the other hand, elementary students will require fewer organizational supplies and more art-based products. Kids might need particular items for higher-level or elective science and math courses as well, like scientific calculators, brushes, or paints.

Regardless of that, all students will require some of the basics like tape, glue sticks, and pencils. Basically, you can expect to purchase approximately:

  • Five to ten pencils and pens each
  • Two to five folders
  • Two to five composition or spiral notebooks

You might also require one unit of each one of the following:

  • Three-ring binder
  • Scissors and tape
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Pencil box
  • Markers and highlighters
  • Glue sticks
  • Colored pencils and crayons
  • Calculator (usually for middle school and up)

The personal items of the kids

The items will change quite a bit from one child to another. But kids might need to have their personal hygiene products like tissues and hand sanitizers.

In addition to that, if your kid is menstruating, they might need to carry tampons or pads in their bag. A change of underwear or period panties can also be useful for the time when the periods come along unexpectedly.

Wrapping up

Back-to-school is the right time to assess your kid’s wardrobe and school supply. Clear out the things that are too small or worn out and add new ones in their place. If you have multiple kids, you can pass down some of the items to the younger siblings. The key to effective back-to-school shopping is to plan ahead and stick to that plan. Hopefully, the ideas shared here today will help you in making that plan.

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