Back to School Shopping

Sadly, it's that time again. School starts in just a couple of days and I had to do the thing I dread most: go to the mall, on a weekend, with a teenager. 

Amazingly, the mall was not crowded (it helps that I arrive when they open) and overall shopping was a breeze. The clearance and sale racks had everything I wanted. Oh yeah, she got some stuff too!

After we shopped we had a great lunch and caught up on what her friends have been up to this summer. We had a great mother/daughter day! 

If you're heading out to do your back-to-shopping soon, consider these tips:

  1. Search for coupons online. Stores like Hollister, Target, Macy's, etc. offer coupons online you can use in the store.
  2. Take inventory. Have your son or daughter take inventory of all the clothes they have that can still be used this school year, and make a list of what they need to supplement their wardrobe. In our case, it turns out we didn't much. Just a few basic pieces to mix and match with what was already in her closet.
  3. Start early. As in, get there when the mall opens. Less people = less headaches.
  4. Eat. Drink coffee. Take your happy pills. Do you what you gotta do to be awake, alert and in a good mood.
  5. Set a budget. Stick to it. Keep track of your spending from store to store.
  6. Use a rewards credit card for all your shopping and earn those points! Sticking to a budget helps ensure you are going to the total balance off right away with the cash you have on-hand.
  7. Recycled clothing stores are gems. Some teenagers don't understand this. Thankfully, I'm form the Bay Area where reselling clothes & purchasing gently used clothes is cool.
  8. Along those lines...think outside the box. You don't have to go to the mall. You can go to small local shops, outlets, used clothing stores, discount shopping stores, etc. The point is to save money. 
  9. Make it a date! Plan a lunch into your shopping day. Make the most of your time with your teenager. There will come a day when you are no longer needed on shopping trips. Enjoy them while you can.
  10. If you are fortunate enough to be in that 1% that doesn't worry about how much you're spending on back to school clothes - congrats. (And thanks for stopping by!) Please consider picking up an extra coat / jacket to donate to a local school or foster child program in your area. 

When all else fails, just tell your kids what The Fresh Prince's mom told us, "You go to school to learn not for a fashion show!"