Back-to-school is on the brain. As kids get ready for school, there’s homework for parents, too.
“Going back to school can be so chaotic,” said Caitlin Houston, a lifestyle blogger, mom of three girls and former elementary school teacher.
Houston, a Wallingford resident, has some tips for parents preparing for the back-to-school rush.
“My best go-to tip for anybody that goes back-to-school shopping is look for sales on things in bulk and you just have it," Houston said.
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She can check glue sticks off her list after buying a giant box last year.
The National Retail Federation estimates the average household will spend $864 on school supplies this year. And that brings us to Houston’s next tip - make a list before you enter the store.
“A lot of people shop, just they impulse buy, so when you have a list, you can just stick to what you need," Houston said.
And before you even leave home, "look around your house for supplies, extra folders you may have bought, even asking neighbors if they have extra things,” Houston said.
A clothes swap is another way to save some cash.
And to save some patience, Houston suggests start getting into a back-to-school routine as summer winds down which means getting to bed earlier, getting up earlier and having a morning check list for the kids.
“In our house it’s teeth, hair, clothes, make your bed, come downstairs, eat breakfast. If you want to watch TV, you’ve got to have all of that done," Houston said.
She also suggests laying out clothes for the school week, at least for the start of the school year.
“It saves time and emotional chaotic mornings when little opinionated people already have their outfits laid out and five things to select from," Houston said.
And with a couple of sleeps until the first day, remember your energy and attitude sets an example for your kiddos.
“Make the first day exciting. As long as mom and dad try to keep it cool, then the kids are feeling those vibes," she said.