If you are like millions of other time-starved dads, the thought of back-to-school shopping leaves you feeling stressed and wondering how you can possibly get it all done within your budget and in the limited time you have. Take advantage of these time-tested, time-saving tips this year and get your children ready for back-to-school in record time – without busting your budget:
1. Start with a plan: Create a master back-to-school shopping list and budget for each child. Discuss the list and ask your kids what items or brands they want most. Let them help make the budget trade-offs. For example, if they want an expensive pair of shoes, they need to spend less on the backpack or clothes.
2. Closet-cleaning giveaway: Before you start shopping, clean out the closet. Sort through the clothes with each of your children, setting aside items that still fit and giving the rest away to charity.
3. Get the help of a free online personal shopper: Take advantage of PersonalShopper.com, and join over half of the families in America who plan to do their back-to-school shopping online, according to a national survey by MediaMonitor. This free service saves you time and money by sifting through millions of products to find deals and items tailored to your family’s needs and interests.
Your children can browse a selection of items from favorite brands, styles and colors and save what they love most to their online wish list. You can then review it together and make your purchases from the comfort of your own home.
4. It’s best one-on-one: Schedule a back-to-school shopping date with each child, giving them your undivided attention. They grow up so fast, so invest your time in making lasting memories.
5. Snag sweet deals: Sixty-four percent of families in the survey said that one of the biggest challenges is keeping themselves and their children within the set budget. Share with each child the amount you can afford to spend. Teach them to value your hard-earned money and how to stretch the budget as far as possible by making smart choices. They will soon learn that they can get far more for their money by searching the sales first.