This is the time of year when a lot of folks are talking about back-to-school shopping.
They’re talking about how much money they’re spending. They’re talking about making special road trips to shopping malls with bigger and better stores. They’re talking about how difficult their kids are about buying clothes. And worst of all, they’re talking about finally paying off their credit card bills from last year’s back-to-school shopping.
My plan is to avoid all of that.
You see, my family doesn’t go back-to-school shopping, at least, not in the traditional sense.
We don’t believe sales fliers, a calendar, and societal pressure should dictate the need for an entire new wardrobe for our kids each and every fall.
Instead we have a strategy for stockpiling kids clothing. We watch sales year-round, and we only buy the clothing we need when it is at a great price.
In the meantime, we take care of the clothing we have, and try to make it last as long as it can. It’s a strategy that has made back-to-school shopping unnecessary for us.
We’re fortunate in that the boys have summer birthdays. Any new clothing items they got for the birthday are new to most of their friends, so a new outfit for school isn’t necessary. And since we keep close tabs on their clothing needs year-round, we’ve got what we need in the right sizes as well as the next size up.
The high quality backpacks I bought two years ago (on sale, of course!) are still in great shape, so there’s no need to buy new ones. They’ll also re-use last years pencil boxes, rulers and scissors.
The only back-t0-school shopping we’ve done this year is to replenish the consumables like pencils, erasers, glue sticks, notebooks and crayons. We’ve been using our back-to-school shopping strategy to stock up on the items we didn’t already have in our stockpile.
Our method works well. There are no drawn out arguments in the stores. There’s no stress on our budget during a busy time of year. We get to enjoy our last couple of weeks of summer vacation without having to set foot in a shopping mall.
So the next time you go shopping – regardless of what you’re shopping for – ask yourself why you need to shop at that exact moment. Are you shopping because you truly need something? Or is it because everyone else is shopping and telling you to shop, too?
The answer could save you time and money.
About Christina Brown
Christina is a wife and mother dedicated to figuring out how to live a simpler, happier life on a budget.