I have six kids, five of whom are school-age, and next year it will be all of them! Taking them to buy back-to-school supplies is absolutely one of the things I hate the most. It’s always a madhouse, my kids want to touch and buy all the things, and I’m sorting through five lists as we go up and down the very crowded, cluttered, littered aisles. Then, THEN, I have to stand in an eternal line next to the candy and Pokemon cards with my little angels. One year I stood in line for over an hour waiting to check out. No one wants to do that, so I have some shopping tips that will change your life.
Last year, I nearly cried at the thought of doing it again. I really and truly could not handle the idea of such an undertaking because most of our busyness happened at the end of the summer. That’s when I had a brilliant idea. I decided I was going to do it all online. I sat down on my couch with my laptop and took one list at a time. There are two places that I prefer to do this.
The first is amazon.com. I am a Prime Member, which means I get free two-day shipping, among other amazing benefits. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial here. Even if you aren’t a Prime Member, you can still get free shipping on these items, and if you can wait longer than two days to get your supplies, that will work great. I was concerned about pricing because, while amazon has amazing prices on a lot of things, there are small things that are ridiculously priced. It always pays to price check amazon. Happily, when I compared prices of school supplies with other retailers, they were either the same or slightly less or slightly more. There were a few things that were dramatically different, though, like Crayola products. For some reason they were much more expensive. The other potential downside is that many of their small items come in multi-packs. With school supplies that tends not to matter as much because each kid needs 20 glue sticks, but if you have one or two kids in school, you could end up with extras you don’t want.
If you can’t find everything you want on amazon.com, or you need it today, I have another option for you. Walmart.com has the option to do free same-day pick up at the store, and free 2-day shipping on orders over $35, which isn’t hard when buying back-to-school supplies. You can order from the comfort of your couch, and then drive to the store where they will have it all bagged up and ready to load in your car. Isn’t that glorious? GLORIOUS. With Walmart.com you can also buy things in individual quantities, and their Crayola products are much less expensive.
If you don’t want to have to sort all those supplies once they arrive, place a separate order for each kid. Shipping is free, so it won’t cost you anything. This will work better if they are being shipped to you as opposed to picking them up at the store.
At our school, back-to-school supplies are supposed to be delivered on back-to-school night. For a few years we carried all our supplies in the plastic sacks we brought them home from the store in, and every single year they ripped as we were making our way from classroom to classroom. It was a nightmare. So now I do one of two things: I either load up backpacks so my army can carry things in something that is easy to transport and won’t rip, or I take our wagon and load it up. Since I drive a Suburban, fitting my big old wagon in the back isn’t a problem. Paper towels, boxes of tissue, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer are huge and bulky. For my family, I need the wagon just for those. If you drive something smaller than an assault vehicle, this foldable wagon is great for camping, the beach, and the garden as well.
To make it even easier for you, here are links to 30 popular school supply items from each retailer:
Don’t have school supplies to shop for? I bet you know lots of people who do! Friends, daughters, sisters, cousins, and neighbors. Share this post with them! They will love you for it! And so will I.
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