Back to school supply shopping - 5 Tips you never thought of!

I chose this image for one reason and one reason only: because it's hilarious. No family ever looks this happy shopping for school supplies. Trust me: I've endured this torturous saga more than a dozen times, and it's never a "fun outing." It's comparable to a trip to the dentist for a root canal.

I've been school supply shopping for three kids for years, and while I never look forward to the back-to-school rush, I have picked up some tricks along the way that have helped ease the process of fulfilling all those supply lists. Here's how.

I do an inventory at home first. You'd be surprised how many school supplies you already have. Gather up new pencils, erasers, notebooks, etc. before you start buying things (and, hence, doubling up). It could help cut down your list substantially.

I stick to one store. Even though a second and even third store might have highlighters at 50 cents cheaper, my time and energy and stress levels are worth more to me than saving a few bucks. Really. 

I get it done in a day. There's no spreading out the shopping over several days - that only keeps my frustration level at an all-time high for no good reason, days on end. If I'm missing that blue notebook with the fish, then I'm finding that blue notebook with the fish that day. There's no sense in leaving things looming.

I get my labels made. There was a time where I would sit and write my child's initials on each and every pencil, crayon and marker. And then my second child started school, and by the time the third hit grade school, I retired my little Sharpie and got the darn things made. They're really not that pricey and you'll get tons, so you'll have more for next year too. 

I buy namebrand supplies. There's no sense shelling out an arm and a leg because my kid's basic school supplies have a shiny emblazoned namebrand on the front of it. These days, less expensive store brands can be just as well made and reliable and cost a fraction of the price.

Melany xx