Your toddles's party of a Budget
Posted on Apr,16 2019
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It’s finally in the 90s where I live on the East Coast. My family and I spent the weekend soaking up the sun and sweat at the Jersey Shore. But we returned home sunburnt and sunny to a Land’s End catalogue full of backpacks and school uniforms in our pile of mail.

Good move, Land’s End. I ordered two backpacks, two pairs of rain boots, and two warm winter coats for two little girls excited about second grade and Kindergarten. Since the school year will be here soon, I know the order will be well worth it.

And I know I’m not the only mom doing it! Since you’re scoping out the clearance patio pieces in the back of Target while little shoppers fill the cart with new school supplies too—here’s a simple guide to make back to school easy peasy.

Shop for Supplies Early

Like now. The supplies are already out in stores all over the US. Print off that supply list and take your eager shoppers for glue sticks, erasers, and crayons. I know there are options for doing this online or even ordering the supply box from school. But I just think there’s something a little sacred about a mom rolling into Walmart ready to say yes to her eager new student.

Also, shop early because why is it necessary to write the individual name in Sharpie on a  Kindergartener’s every single Crayola twistable? That alone will take weeks! I need to start tonight!

Get the Most out of Your Back to School Budget

Most moms don’t have time to compare sale ads and clip coupons. I’m right there with you. So an easy way to maximize the money you have to spend during an expensive time of year is to shop smart. Experienced moms know that even thought our kids have outgrown last year’s apparel, they don’t need everything new.

Check out a Rhea Lana’s sale near you to get great deals on excellent back to school pieces: cute matching sets for play and school, uniforms, shoes, fall jackets, even backpacks, lunchboxes, and nap mats.

Reestablish Routines

My girls have been staying up late catching lightning bugs with neighbors every night. So then they sleep till 8 and lay around in their PJs through mid morning. As much as I’m loving it, that routine will not get us off to school by the 8:10 bell. So we’ve got some readjusting to do.

I bet you do too. Don’t wait until the night before to get back to the school year bedtime. At least a week ahead get your kids back on a schedule that replicates a school schedule. You’ll all need a little time to transition.

Update Your Calendar

The school emails with all the important dates are filling up my inbox! I’m trying to enjoy my pool days! But I also know it’ll be helpful to start marking the dates on my calendar for the months ahead. Go ahead and plan the school year. You likely already know that you schedule Tuesday afternoon gymnastics and Monday morning soccer…  Use the knowledge to your advantage.

Knowing when fall break is lets me know when to invite my brother and his wife for a visit. And when to plan a few special seasonal off days with my girls. Getting your mind around the big picture will minimize mid-year surprises…like half day Kindergarten the first whole week of school!

Create a Meal Plan

Lunches included. At every recent playdate some mom is asking another mom: “But what am I going to put in their lunches?!” Let’s not overcomplicate this, moms! A little planning ahead will keep healthy food available for us and our families throughout the day.

Think about dinnertime meals too. Could you do a little freezer prep with slower summer days? This set of recipes/meals is on my summer to-do list.  Could you plan a freezer meal swap with a few friends? Knowing the weekly activity schedule (since you marked your calendar as suggested above), maybe you can even pencil in your take-out night of the week.

The back to school hustle can feel overwhelming to even the most prepared moms. So do yourself—and your kids—the favor of thinking through it now to set your family up for back to school success.