Back-To-School | Set-Up For A Successful Start

  • Aug 14, 2023
  • babycito


Around the middle of August, parents of all school-aged kids start thinking about back-to-school shopping. This time of year brings the close of summer and the promise of (hopefully) cooler weather! While the kids are soaking up the last days at the pool, parents are beginning to look over the extensive school supply list and dread getting back into the school routine.


Back-to-school doesn’t have to give you the heebie-jeebies! Check out these tried and true mama/teacher hacks to ensure a smooth start to the school year. 


Fully utilize your Amazon Prime membership.

 (Image credit: Bob Al-Greene/PCMag)


Whether you choose to buy school supplies on Amazon or elsewhere, it’s a great tool for price-matching at larger suppliers such as Target and Walmart (online at only). Be sure to have your Amazon Prime app handy to compare prices when you’re checking out at the register. 


Are you an educator? Target is currently offering a generous 20% discount off one qualifying in-store or online purchase for teachers with a valid ID. This offer is part of the Target Circle Teacher Appreciation which runs from 7/16/23-8/26/23. 


Walmart allows you to pull up your school supply list online which makes back-to-school shopping even easier! Simply click here to search for your school by name, city, state, or zip code and it will pull up the available school supply lists! Note: not all schools participate in this function. 



This likely goes without being said, but don’t wait until the last minute to buy school supplies! Buy them early so your child will have a variety of choices when it comes to color, style, and brand. The best sales usually run from the end of July - beginning of August. You’re more likely to have trouble finding that one must-have item on the list if you put off the shopping trip. 


Check your Buy Nothing group.

  (Image credit: Treva Lind with The Spokesman-Review)


If you aren’t already a part of a Buy Nothing group, it’s a worthwhile free community membership! Buy Nothing groups are run through Facebook by a neighbor member(s) acting as an administrator(s). Groups are divided by city/county boundaries. Potential members can visit this link to learn more about joining. 


School supplies, children’s clothing, toys, and much, much more can be found through Buy Nothing groups. Not only are you saving money, but you’re helping the planet by reducing waste!


Plan, label, and set out clothing for the week.

(Image credit: Susan with 31 Organized)


Tired of having debates about what your little one should wear five minutes before the school bus arrives? Taking time to plan out clothes before the school week saves precious time in the mornings before school starts and eliminates unnecessary arguments. Choose a day - Saturday or Sunday - to pick out clothes with your little one. This will help them take on some responsibility and practice making choices. If you’re really having fun with this hack, consider planning the footwear for each day too! There are lots of learning opportunities to be uncovered here! 


Prepare school lunches for the week.

   (Image credit: Nutrition In Bloom)


Preparing your little one’s school lunches can be easy and fun. Remember to keep in mind what your toddler will eat, while doing your best to incorporate a balanced meal. The USDA offers free resources for families to assist in meal planning. One of my favorites is their MyPlate (Spanish version) concept. By clicking on the link, you can learn how to pack a balanced lunch for your child. There’s even a menu planner for families to make sure they are including all five food groups in their daily meals.


Empty the school backpack and pack it every night.


(Image credit: Wildkin via Amazon)


As a teacher, I can’t tell you the number of times a parent told me they didn’t receive a form that I sent home. That’s because the form was squashed down at the very bottom of their child’s backpack or placed neatly in their Take Home Folder, but was never opened. Make it a habit to completely empty your child’s backpack every night to avoid missing out on important information. 


Need to send in lunch or field trip money? Be sure to pack it in a sealed envelope in your child’s backpack and email the teacher to let him/her know it’s there. Another common “whoopsie” that occurred frequently in my classroom was that students would forget to turn in money and forms. It was in their backpack - ready to go -but it never got in my hands. Save yourself extra hassle by regularly communicating with your child’s teacher. The teachers thank you in advance. :)


As you send your child off to a new school year, remember to give yourself, your child, and your child’s teacher grace as you all embark on these new routines. Try out these back-to-school hacks to keep your sanity, save time, and set your child up for a successful school year.




Lindsey Hollaar

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