OK, let’s cut to the chase. Time is already running out for summer and parents all over Madison County and North Alabama are getting ready to embark on that annual chore of back-to-school shopping. Because this is AMERICA, there’s about a thousand different ways to acquire all those new notebooks, pencils, laptops, shoes, and other things kids need to start a fresh school year. Different families use different strategies to get it all together, so we’re detailing five of our favorite methods just for you.
1. For the Shop Local Mom
Here at RCM we’re all about shopping local first whenever possible. Why? It’s a win-win for our local economy and we love sending love (and customers!) to small businesses that specialize in services or products for kids and families. We recommend heading to SchoolCraft for kindergarten nap mats, basic school supplies, and gifts for that new teacher you need to win over. Learning Express is another destination for awesome educational workbooks, classroom & teacher goodies, and more.
2. For the Busy Mom with No Time
I just discovered something life-changing when it comes to back-to-school shopping! Target.com has their School List Assist feature. You can look up your child’s school and add their supply list straight into your online shopping cart. From there you can make edits like changing a notebook color, adjust a quantity or delete an item if you already have it. You can also add other random purchases (like cereal). Then you can have ALL THE THINGS delivered to your doorstep, or – get this – you can pick it up at a Target store near you and keep that tax money local. Even better, you can also do this for tax-free weekend!
I adore this option and it saved me tons of time and even a little money. I ordered both my kids’ school supplies in less than 35 minutes with some cart edits and price checking time thrown in there. I got a text 30 minutes later saying my order was ready to pick up. When I arrived at the Customer Service desk the cashier told me some of the prices even rang up less in the store! It was magical. (P.S. – Wal-Mart does this too but I did not personally try them.)
3. For the Mom on a Super Tight Budget
We all should be aware of pinching pennies, especially if you have lots of kids starting back at the same time! There are a few ways to save when going back-to-school shopping in Huntsville:
- Shop Tax Free – You can avoid paying tax this weekend on a long list of back-to-school items, compliments of the Alabama Department of revenue. Clothes, school supplies, computers, and more are covered – even diapers!
- Rocket City Consignment – This seasonal consignment sale has tons of great items that will also be tax free this weekend! We all know the kids will grow out of that name brand shirt anyway in about a month, why pay full price when you don’t have to?
- Price Compare – Our favorite resource for coupon and price comparison is the Passionate Penny Pincher, and she always comes through when it’s time to go back to school. Check out her back-to-school deals and her fabulous sale chart.
4. For the Introverted Mom
I get it. Shopping in throngs with the masses is an absolute nightmare for some people. Getting all your shopping done from the comfort of your own home with a cup of coffee can cut that stress from your life. The Early Bird Introvert Mom got a jump on us all last Spring when they ordered school supply boxes from the PTA. If you missed that opportunity and can’t stand the thought of braving the crowds, hit up Amazon, Target, and Wal-Mart online. Just be sure to price compare, and research more expensive purchases thoroughly to avoid returns down the road.
5. For the Mom Who LOVES School Supplies
For many families, back-to-school shopping is a happy tradition. It’s a great way to get kids excited about the new year, new friends, and new things they’ll learn. Picking out a notebook with their favorite colors, the blue ink pens that are just right, or a lunchbox with their favorite character on it brings back fond memories and makes new ones.
For those families, all you have to do is find your school & class supply list in one of the links below, make a plan of attack, and enjoy spending time with your kiddos picking out the tools that will help them succeed this year:
- Huntsville City Schools
- Madison City Schools
- Madison County Schools
- Athens City Schools
- Limestone County Schools
- Decatur City Schools
- Scottsboro City Schools
Truth be told, families are hardly ever one dimensional and yours fits in more than one of these categories. However you like to do back-to-school shopping, I hope these resources help you and your students get ready for a great new year![themify_box icon=”announcement” color=”lavender”]
Share Your Back-to-School Tips!
Have you got a back-to-school shopping tip to share with other local parents? Don’t keep it to yourself – let us know in the comments below!
Stephenie has worked with and around books and authors for over 12 years, both at retail booksellers and public libraries. She is a rare Huntsville native, mother of two high-energy boys, wife of one, and eerily addicted to community volunteering. When she's not being the Managing Editor for RCM she likes to stalk her favorite authors online, cook with way too much butter, and also manages to conduct freelance marketing and PR work.