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Preschool Back-to-School Shopping Like a Pro

by Joe Lawrence | August 16th, 2016 | Preschool, Seasonal

hello kitty lunchboxBack to school shopping was one of my favorite times each year. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but my big sister would take me and we would stretch out every dollar. I am very excited to see my wife take my kids shopping for supplies and clothes each year. For elementary-aged students, there are some pretty clear guidelines; however, for our preschoolers, there are some things that are not so concrete.

Many preschools require fees to attend. Because of these fees, most of the supplies and even most meals are supplied. Not all preschools are like this, and those that are a bit cheaper are so because they expect us to cover these expenses. I am going to cover how to deal with both types in this article.

First of all for those that cover all supplies, there really is not much required to get them into the building. However, we can take full advantage of this and invest in different areas. Our children’s preschool covered supplies, but we learned what they would be teaching them over the course of the year. For example, there was an ocean-themed module where they would learn about sea creatures. So, we bought our daughter some books and coloring books about the ocean. You can do something similar or even seek out an app that helps reinforce the lessons and get a better return on your investment.

For those schools that do not include the supplies or lunches, here is how friends of ours handle this with success. The obvious way is to get the supply list as early as you can. School supplies are cheaper and there are more to choose from before the hordes devour the shelves. Or even better, beat the crowds and purchase it all online and have it shipped to the door as you are sipping your morning coffee.

Packing school lunches can be a real pain. When we wait until the last minute, we end up giving our kids things that are not all that healthy. I hate to see kids learn bad eating habits as children. To overcome this, meal planning works well. Admittedly, my wife does 99% of school meals for our elementary student, and she is a planner. She plans out the week’s meals over the weekend and ensures they are related. For example, she will do a turkey sandwich on Monday and then cut turkey into shapes for turkey and crackers later in the week. This way there is variety, but not a 50 item shopping list.

Getting into the back to school mindset can be tough, but we are smarter than the average bear and know that a little prep on the front side will reap rewards in the end.

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