Even though good ol' Mr. Sun seems to think otherwise, the laid-back days of summer are coming to an end. That means one thing: ready or not, the new school year is back. Patch went around town to ask parents and teachers for their best advice on how to get your kids off to the right start.
Shop at Home First
One Palisadian parent told Patch that people often forget to reuse items they purchased last year. If you're guilty of buying new notepads, only to come home and find you already have a three-pack, then listen up!
The first thing is to look through last year's items and organize them before shopping, said a parent of a second-grader. Then, head for the store. You might find some things already crossed off your list before you pull into the parking lot!
Teachers told Patch that it's never too early to plan ahead for next year's school supplies. Next June, when the teachers are having the kids clean out their desk, be sure to have them clean out their binders and put them in a safe place, they said. That way, you can find them come fall. It may take a little organization when the household is itching to hit the beach, but it is an easy, money-saving tip to reuse basics like backpacks, binders, pencils, pens and folders.
Don't Jump the Gun
Students and parents often buy items they will not use, said Kerry Gallagher, a Palisadian mom. She said it's best to check with your school before you go to the store. offers a list of needed school items by grade.
“Since both of my kids go to Pali Elementary they’re on the same list. It makes it easy to find what they need and then we don’t waste time or money buying unnecessary items,” said Gallagher.
Don't Be Disracted by Brands
Parents told Patch that some back-to-school items are tough to leave on the shelf because they are marketed to kids. Items colorfully decorated with princesses, cowboys, or even the cast of Glee, often come with a heftier price tag.
“Fortunately, since my kids don’t watch much TV they don’t buy into most of the fancy schoolwear. They get the Justice backpack but everything else is generic,” Gallagher added. “It helps to compromise.”
Get the Best Deal
Patch looked through local stores and found that in the Village had one of the larger selections of back-to-school merchandise. So, it may be a good place to start if you're in a crunch.
Before you head anywhere, check out any online coupons that could help knock down the cost at the register. Patch found a couple of helpful sites:
- For Target printable coupons, click here
- For weekly ad specials from Staples, click here
- For weekly ad specials from CVS, click here
Here's to the new school year!