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Tips for Less Stressful Back-to-School Shopping

Back-to-school shopping can be very stressful, which is the last thing we parents need. Running from store to store, bringing the kids along, hoping you didn’t forget anything…it can be a lot of work. Save yourself some stress and try out these back-to-school shopping tips.

We are excited to partner with Vocalpoint and DICK’s Sporting Goods® for this sponsored post, and share with your our family’s back-to-school shopping trips.

Here are 5 tips for reducing the stress of back-to-school shopping, even when you bring the kids along. Back to School | Shopping | Kid Fashion | Sports Apparel | Sporting Goods | School Gear | Parenting | Gym
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Let’s chat.

What is the most frustrating part of back-to-school shopping for you?

For me, it is always having to bring my kids to the stores. Shopping can take a while and they get bored and restless. They whine about wanting to leave and get into everything. You guessed it; I have some tips to help with this!

Bring a Shopping List

It may go without saying, but bring a shopping list along. This is not just referring to the school supplies lists you have to pick up. This goes beyond that. Create a shopping list that goes into detail. What sports will your child be taking, at least this first semester? Does your child need gym supplies? New clothing? A new lunch bag? If your child, like mine, grew out of his clothes over the summer, how many new outfits do you need to make it by?

To make this even more fun and helpful, you can make the list child-friendly. Write a simple list with big boxes to check and have your child check them off as you purchase the items needed. If your child is too young to read, you can find some old magazines and cut out pictures of basic back-to-school items (i.e. shirts, lunch bags, shoes) then glue them to the list so he can see a more visual list.

Involve Your Kids

Beyond checking off the shopping list, involve your children in decision-making. Your child may try to choose the most expensive lunch bag or a style of backpack the school does not allow, but with some guidance let your child have a say. Give him specific options. You are picking up a certain backpack that is on sale–does he like the red as opposed to the blue? Which style lunch bag does he prefer?

Back to School at Dick's Backpack Shopping

E loved picking out his own t-shirt from the sale rack; we kept the costs down by giving him options from the sale section, while giving him the chance to express himself by making his own clothing choices.

Back to School at Dick's Clothes

If your child is old enough to understand money, you can even bring along a calculator and give him an approximate amount he has to spend on supplies and help him figure out how he can get what he wants within the budget, even if it means compromising on one item.

Limit How Many Stores You Shop At

While it is very tempting to jump from store to store to shop all the deals, consider choosing one or two stores. A one-stop shop for supplies and a one-stop shop for everything else school gear (clothing, backpacks, lunch bags…). This will save you time, energy, and gas money.

Back to School at Dick's Backpacks

is the perfect one-stop shop for school gear, especially if your child will be playing any sports. They have backpacks, lunch bags, water bottles, apparel (from shirts and shorts to socks and underwear) and shoes, gym bags and other sporting essentials, even first aid supplies and electronics accessories. The best part? My boys really love shopping at DICK’s Sporting Goods and it is easy to keep them involved.

E loved this soccer shirt and coordinating sports water bottle and they were very affordable.

Back to School at Dick's Cover

Take Breaks

Shopping can be exhausting. I get it. Completely. That’s why it’s important to take breaks. One thing we love about DICK’s Sporting Goods is that we do not need to leave the store to take a break. My boys always find the folding chairs they have on display throughout the store and take a few minutes to sit and rest. It is a great way to regain some energy.

Back to School at Dick's
Back to School at Dick's 2

If our shopping trip takes longer than planned, sometimes we will stop and buy a small snack for the boys to hold them over and fuel them to finish. DICK’s has some great snacks at the front of the store.

Give the Kids Something to Hold

If your children are like mine, they have to be touching and playing with everything in the store. Sometimes I will let them check out the sport cones or try out the hula hoops if there is a wide open space, but most of the time our best bet is to let them carry something around the store so their hands stay preoccupied. Often we will give them the first item on our list so they can have the responsibility of taking care of it and then giving it to the cashier at the end. Some items that your kids may enjoy holding onto are water bottles or water jugs or stress balls. I tend to stay away from giving them actual sports balls, as those tend to not stay in their hands…but the stress balls are fun for them to squeeze. You could also hand them the list you created (from the first tip); it will be something for them to hold and they can help you spot items (sort of like a scavenger hunt!).

Back to School at Dick's Lunch Bag

These tips are sure to make your back-to-school shopping trips at least a little less stressful. I know they certainly help us! Here they are again:

  • Bring a Shopping List
  • Involve Your Kids
  • Limit How Many Stores You Shop At
  • Take Breaks
  • Give the Kids Something to Hold
Back to School at Dick's Square

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Read also: Back to School Wooden Ruler Makeover Craft and DIY Shoelace Wrap Watch

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  1. My most frustrating back to school shopping is when the kids do not like anything that I pick out that is a good deal. They always want something that is too expensive. But we work it out, and I do get a lot of things on sale. I also won some gift cards to help me with back to school shopping!

    • Totally! That’s why the giving them options to choose from works well. Not that you won’t have a little fight, but it’s a start. You can also check out my DIY school supplies posts (just search back to school) as I share ways to take the boring, inexpensive school supplies and make them look super cool for cheap! That’s so exciting you won some gift cards for it!

  2. I would say to go on tax-free weekend! 🙂

  3. We don’t really do “back to school” shopping. They get a few things but I buy them clothes throughout the year.

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