Friday, August 3, 2012

Back To School: A few back to school shopping tips

I'm so excited to say that I am going back to school shopping sometime this weekend! I'll post a haul after I go shopping! :) Since many of you may be going back to school shopping really soon, if you haven't already, I'd like to share a few quick tips to keep in mind when you go shopping. Many of these will help to save money, and even a bit of embarrassment (like when a teacher yells at you for what you're wearing). We all want to get the most out of our back to school shopping trip, and get as many new outfits as we can. And don't forget some cute new supplies!

First up, if you are on a tight budget, and the budget includes both school supplies, and clothes, as well as any potential beauty products, you may want to divide to the budget up a bit before you go shopping. I would put away about $25 for school supplies alone, and use the rest for clothing and beauty products. Sometimes parents may be willing to spend a few extra dollars then the budget, but not always. And if you are spending from your own pocket, you'll want to be even more careful with your money. If your parents won't at all go a little over the budget, you could ask them if you could hold the money in cash. A lot of times we are a little more careful when we actually see how much we have. 


So I have to say, I love shopping for cute new school supplies. And I love to go for the binders and notebooks with the cute patterns on them, even though they tend to cost a bit more then plain ones. But then again, I do want something that will make me happy to look at and have on my desk. We all deserve something that will make us happy, as well as things that will help keep us organized. But if you are on a tight budget, you may need to look into a few things when buying school supplies. Here are a few ways you can save on your supplies, and even get more of what you want:

Before you go shopping, look for things that you can reuse- If you have pens, highlighters, pencils, or most other school supplies that are still in good shape (calculators can MOST DEFINITELY be reused), or even unused, you can use those rather then repurchasing them. You may want to test highlighters and pens a little bit to make sure they still work. But reuse what you can, that way you'll have more money to spend on cute new supplies and clothes! This doesn't mean you have to use everything from the year before, but just a few minor things. 
*You may also want to reuse your tote bag if it's still in good shape. 

Get some plain supplies in pretty colors- We all know that pretty pattern can be more expensive then plain supplies. And if you'd prefer to spend your money elsewhere look for some supplies that are just  a nice solid color. This mostly applies to 3 ring binders, but you can  also get one with a clear pocket in the front and make a collage! Plain doesn't have to mean ugly, get something in your favorite colors! Notebooks, binders, and folders all come in pretty colors.

Invest in sturdier supplies- This may not initially be as money saving, but can save money in the future, as well as frustration. If you want to save more money in the future, these can often last into the next school year! They are also a lot less likely to rip up and fall apart during the year (i don't know about you, but I don't like the look of ripping up binders and folders!) Plastic folders last longer then the paper ones, and plastic binders (unlike the ones with cardboard in the middle) usually last longer as well. These will often be in just solid colors, but look for ones in your favorite colors! This is best if your supplies tend to rip really quickly, or if you load your folders up a lot. 
*there isn't a 100% chance that your supplies won't get damaged, but they will last longer. 

Keep your organization plans in mind- This is easy if you are going to organize the same as always. But if you are trying a new method, keep it in mind when you go shopping. Make sure you know all of what you'll need before you go shopping to organize for school.

Just get the basics- get the things you know you'll need when you go shopping. It's certain that you'll need paper, pens, pencils, highlighters, notebooks, and the things you use to organize. And if you already have some of these things lying around you wont need to buy them again, unless you are running low. If your school doesn't supply planners you may also want to get a planner (or a cute small notebook that can be used as one). Don't worry about any class specific supplies until you are given a list of supplies by the teacher. You may want to hold up on the calculator until you know what kind you need. 
      -I like to get 5 subject notebooks and use a different section for each class. That way I don't need to but as many notebooks, or have as many in my locker. But I may also pick up a regular notebook for a class that may have more notes.

If you have been given a supply list by your school bring it with you- High school students aren't usually given these, not are college students (as far as i know, LOL). But middle schoolers and elementary schools will almost always give these out. You don't want to forget anything on the list. 


Probably the best part of back to school shopping is getting some new outfits! But there still are a couple of things to keep in mind as you go shopping for school clothes. Though most of them are pretty straight forward.

Keep the school dress code in mind- All schools have some kind of dress policy, even if it isn't uniforms. Typically the dress code would be something like: No really short shorts or skirts, now really low cut tops, no belly shirts, no backs showing, shirts need to cover shoulders, ect.) But every school may have something slightly different (I know that one school around here doesn't allow hoodies to be worn in class (CRAZY RIGHT?!), or shorts after a certain date. But my school doesn't care.) I also know that in some schools teachers may not pay that close of attention all the time, but it's still better safe then sorry. You want to be able to wear your new outfits to school without worrying about it getting you in trouble. If you find something you like, but it seems questionable as to how it will fit, try it on before you buy it. 
     -usually you can wear thin straps or strapless shirts or dresses as long as you wear a jacket or cardigan over it. 
     -if a shirt comes to low, you may be able to work it with a cami underneath it.
     -if you have a short dress or skirt, you may want to sit on a bench to see where it comes when you sit down, remember, you'll be sitting a lot of the day at school.

Remember that seasons will change- It may be warm now, but it will get colder as the school year goes on. There's nothing wrong with getting some outfits for the warmer weather, but don't forget that it;s going to get cooler in the next few months. I live in Ohio, and it gets VERY cold here in the winter. Plan accordingly to your usual climate. But also don't forget that it will be hot on the first day of school. 

Be yourself- Dress in clothes that are your own style and that you feel are right for you. Don't wear dressier clothes just because you think it looks prettier, unless this is your style (and of course everyone deserves a few nice outfits.) And don't try to dress like a rocker if it isn't you. Wear what you like, but don't be something you're not. Pick things that you you comfortable and confident.

Look for bargains- check out the clearance racks for cute new outfits, you never know what you might find for less! 

Beauty Supplies

I'm going to be honest... I don't usually buy a whole lot of new beauty products for back to school. I like to make use of the ones that I already have, and maybe just try out some new combinations of the colors I have for a fresh new look. Though a few new products, and a few things to replace old products is always nice. If you have your eye on a color you really want, you can always get it. But you may also want to look for a less expensive alternative for more expensive brands. 

What tips do you have for back to school shopping? What is your favorite part of shopping for back to school? Remember to have fun when you go shopping! :) Back to school shopping should in no way be stressful, or to expensive. 

Happy shopping