With this time of year comes the mad scramble to prepare for back to school. I’ve compiled a list of 10 amazingly useful back to school hacks to help parents and kids glide through back to school with ease.
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Buy School Supplies Using Walmart Grocery
If your local Walmart offers online grocery shopping with pickup, I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s not just fantastic for groceries, though.
You can also use it to order your back to school supplies. That’s right. You can find the same back to school bargains that you’d find inside the Walmart store.
Instead of braving the crowds and standing in lines, though, you order what you need online and pick it up at the store without leaving your car. How cool is that? Even better, you can save $10 on your first Walmart Grocery order.
Save a Bundle on School Clothes
Before you head to the local mall or shopping plaza to stock up on school clothing, look into whether there are any nice charity thrift stores nearby. Buying clothing at thrift stores is an easy way to outfit your family in style while saving enormous amounts of dough.
Carpool Survival Guide
Waiting in the school carpool line with a younger child can be a big hassle. These tips will help you keep yourself and the little one occupied and sane during carpool line waits.
Help With Memorizing Schedules
Middle and high school students can take photos of their new schedules and use them on their phones’ lock screens. This lets them see their schedules at a glance.
Parents can type or write a schedule or to-do list, save it as a graphic and use it as your phone lock screen. This gives you instant access to your schedule as well.
Color Code Notebooks
To keep track of which notebook goes with which class, kids can use a highlighter pen to color part of the page tops and bottoms using a different color for each subject. Be sure to mark both the tops and bottoms of notebooks so that you don’t have to remember to put it in the backpack in a certain way.
Save on Your Mobile Phone Bill
I absolutely love how much money I save every month with Boost Mobile. I pay $30 each for my phone and my teenager’s. We get great coverage plus unlimited talk and text along with 2.5 GB of high speed data.
Boost Mobile doesn’t automatically charge you extra if you go over your data allotment. They slow down your data speeds for the rest of your billing cycle, unless you choose to buy more high-speed data. That eliminates any surprisingly large bills if your kid accidentally uses a whole lot of data.
Plus, I’m not on a family share plan, so I don’t share data with someone else. That means nobody else can use up all of my mobile data and leave me dry.
My kids have always carried a change of clothing in their backpacks throughout elementary school. They’ve also made use of their spare outfits on occasion.
Spare clothing is a must have for situations such as wardrobe malfunctions like rips or tears, plus the occasional fall in the mud on the playground.
Older kids may not want to carry around spare clothing in their backpacks, but they might want to consider keeping a pair of old jeans or sweats in their lockers. They may not have playground dirt worries, but they can still experience tears or spills.
Having certain items in a kid’s backpack can save them some headaches and might save you a trip to the school with rescue items.
Here’s what I recommend for a small emergency kit for school kids. You can pick up most of the non-clothing items at your local dollar store. Your middle or high school student can probably keep some of the items in a locker to avoid adding extra heft to the backpack.
Elementary school kids:
- Complete clothing outfit including underwear and socks, changed periodically to make sure the clothing still fits and lines up with the season.
- Small tissue pack.
- Rain poncho.
- Enough cash to cover lunch, just in case.
Middle and high school:
- Lip balm.
- Small tissue pack.
- Clean underwear.
- Rain poncho.
- Breath mints.
- Cash – maybe $5 or $10, in case she/he forgets lunch money some day.
- A non-perishable food item that’s not easy to squash, such as a granola bar.
- For girls, add some pads.
Splurge on the Backpack
My middle schooler’s backpack is so heavy during the school year that I don’t know how she carries it around.
For many kids in middle school or high school, a cheap backpack is likely to break or tear at various places before too long.
Last school year, I splurged on a more expensive backpack for my teenager. Despite its usually heavy load, she asked if she could keep using it for the upcoming school year because she likes it so much.
I didn’t spend a ton of money on it – maybe $25 or $30 – but it was definitely a better choice than the cheaper ones.
Compensate for Missing Textbooks
One thing you probably won’t find in your kids’ backpacks is a text book. Budget cuts at schools have made traditional text books disappear.
To give kids something to review besides their notes, you might find some used, nonfiction books on various subjects at thrift stores. You can also find books such as Workman’s Big Fat Notebooks to supplement your kids’ class notes.
Some of your kids’ shoes that look worn out might just need a good cleaning. A shoe cleaning kit might help you make them look great again.
For stubborn shoe stains, try a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Scrubbing shoes will quickly shred the Magic Eraser, but it’ll still do a good job.
If the strap has fallen off a pair of Crocs, you can easily repair it with a 1/4″ Chicago bolt screw set and the instructions in the video below.