Now that Christmas is over we are all starting to plan for the kids to go back to school (it can’t come fast enough, right?). I don’t know about you but I’m back at work now, so I have to juggle my full-time job with getting everything ready for going back. Thankfully I just have one going back to school this year! Two kids down and one to go. After three kids and nearly 20 years of parenting I’ve got a fair few back to school hacks up my sleeve, so I thought I’d share them with you. Hopefully, this helps make your organising a little easier.
This post is in collaboration with Officeworks
Before heading out to shop, take inventory of everything you have. Check pencil cases to make sure they are still working fine, find stationery that is still good, throw out the old, unusable stuff, check school shoes to see if you can get another term out of them, try on uniforms and list ones that don’t fit on your school’s uniform buy/swap/sell Facebook group and then see if you can get what you need on there second hand as well before buying new.
The first rule of kids’ school stuff is to label everything from the uniforms to the glue and pencils. If it’s not labelled they lose it. Every time. Well they still lose it but if it’s labeled then you have some hope of finding it. Rather than paying a fortune for cute, personalised labels for each kid, grab yourself a Dymo Label Maker from Officeworks for $23 and label everything that way. It’s much more affordable and you don’t have to wait to order anything.
Use book covers to save time
Forget contacting! This is the back to school activity that takes up the most time and is the most frustrating. I’ve now ditched the contact and I’m using book covers from Officeworks. The A4 ones are only $1.49 and come in a range of choices. Oh, and they take 4.5 seconds to cover your book. Time saved: about 100 hours!
Don’t buy the latest fad – function is more important
I know the kids are begging for the latest Justice League or Disney Princess lunch box or stationery pack (in my house it’s Harry Potter) but you are way better off just getting functional, practical, non-licensed school supplies that will go the distance. Chances are they will be over the latest fad halfway through the year and start begging for a whole new set.
Do your Price Research
Research the prices of your school supplies and know what you need. Oh, and if you find the same exact item on sale cheaper than at Officeworks they will beat the price by 20% as part of the ‘Parents Price Promise’ – so you know you’re getting the best price! Also, make sure you always buy extra and fill a drawer at home. Then, when you run out you have immediate supplies. No more running to Officeworks at 8:30pm for a new glue stick.
Officeworks shopping list
Waiting for the teachers list rather than just buying what you think they need will save you a lot of money. Once you have the school list, upload it to Officeworks School List Service (or drop it in store) and within 48 hours you’ll be notified when it’s ready to be picked up in store.
If you are packing a lot of lunches the best thing you can do is some bulk cooking. You can make sandwiches and freeze them, bulk cook things like muffins, scrolls, biscuits and slices and freeze them all for the term. You can also bulk make your crunch and sip in separate containers in the fridge every weekend, so you can just grab and go.
Join with another family for buy one, get one 50% off school shoes
This is one of my favourite tips for those of you with just one kid at school. Many shoe shops offer buy one, get one 50% off for school shoes in January, so go shopping with another friend that only has one child at school and pay only 75% each for school shoes. This is what I’ll be doing this year!
Hope this helps you all! Let me know how you go.