It will be time for school before you know it.....get ready
The most dreaded time of year for many parents is back to school. There is always a mad rush to get things done. It feels hectic. You never really know everything that might be required of you. Most of all, it's expensive! There are a lot of things you can do to make it easier, so take a deep breath, get centered, and realize that you've got this.
1) School Clothes- School clothes are a huge part of the expense. Spread out the purchases of new school clothes over the summer. Even if winter clothes aren't on the rack yet, most kids don't want to wear bulky or heavy clothes in class. Buy a few shirts, some pants, and other necessities that will be warm enough when they cover up with a coat on the way to school and everything will be easier at the last minute.
2) Watch the Supply Ads- For office supply companies, like Staples, back to school season actually starts in July. If you pay attention to the ads, you can find crazy deals. I still have a closet full of nickel folders, crayons, paper, and pencils. Even if you don't know EXACTLY what is going to be on the list, getting some of the essentials in advance for pennies on the dollar will make the last minute purchases that much quicker and less complicated.
3) Mark Their Stuff- Kids lose more things at school than anywhere else. Mark their stuff with a sharpie or order a special stamp or two to make it easier throughout the year. We special order stamps that permanently mark on clothing and offer them during back to school. It's a little more than a sharpie, but it's legible, easy, and the ink lasts just as long or longer. Watch for our back to school engraving specials, we often do a day or two of free engraving for certain objects to make it cheaper on parents. Get a luggage tag for their backpack, it will save a TON of trouble and searching. Have the back of their cell phone engraved with a name and alternate number. If they take their 3ds to school, get that engraved as well. With a little labeling, you would be amazed at how much money you can save through the year.
I hope some of these ideas helped out a little bit. We'll talk more about other things and announce our back to school specials as it gets closer to that time. Until then, get the little things done so it's less stress on you and the kids when it is suddenly here.