Back to school shopping can be stress free

Signal Reporter Dana Beattie shares insights on the back to school shopping experience.

Signal Reporter Dana Beattie shares insights on the back to school shopping experience.

Story by Dana Beattie, Reporter

Back to school shopping. This term is normally accompanied by either a rush of excitement or sinking dread for both children and parents alike. Stores crowd with families searching for the cheapest deals, the trendiest clothes, and the best materials. The process of preparation requires not only time and money, but patience and attention to detail. No wonder school shopping is so irritating!

Upon surviving my own school shopping adventure, I found myself agitated and ready to leave within the first half hour. Although I had been looking forward to it originally, I quickly came to learn that the bustling halls and hurried changing rooms was not my scene. The sounds and lights were unbearable, causing a throbbing headache with no relief for several hours. 

According to the National Retail Federation, families with children in elementary school through high school plan to spend an average $696.70. For lower income families, this time of year may be particularly stressful because of how daunting the task school shopping can become. However, there are options. 

School supplies can be found using good deals at Walmart. The store offers affordable materials, such as two composition notebooks for the price of $1 in store. Online, they offer deals on pencils such as 40 BIC Xtra Life Mechanical Pencils for $6.63 (17 cents each), among other reduced price items. 

When it comes to school clothes, many kids and teenagers find this an opportunity to express themselves for the next year. With all the built pressure and expectations, clothes shopping may be complicated and tiring–not to mention, expensive! 

In my opinion, name brands are popular and nice to have hanging in your closet, but it’s easier and much more fun to shop at Thrift Stores. In fact, you could be surprised at what name brands you find! Last fall, I bought a dress from the local Red Racks and to my astonishment, found that this dress was from Sax 5th Avenue! Recently I visited a Thrift World with only $20 and left carrying two beautiful dresses (one of which was Rue21) and a pair of tan wedges, with change to spare. Thrift stores and local Goodwill’s hold a variety of items and keep their stores calm. A much preferred environment for me and my family. 

At the end of the day, school shopping can either be a chore or outing, depending on your mindset. There are always alternative options. And who knows? You may find a thrill in the adventure of school shopping from now on.