Prepping for Back-to-School: Advice for the Military Mom
Sales ads for school supplies are popping up everywhere these days, heralding the summer wind-down. Moms, are you ready?
The arrival of the start of school is usually a welcome change for parents who were busy entertaining children all summer. But this time of year can also be pricey, not to mention fraught with schedule adjustments. Good news: Military families can benefit from a number of discounts to save on school supply shopping. We’ve also packed this post with some helpful reminders as family schedules change with the arrival of school.
Enjoy our top tips for preparing your family to go back to school this fall.
The more you save, the more money you have to spend on big-ticket items. Couple your savings with an armed forces loan, for example, and you could be driving a new car or taking a family trip. You have to shop smart. Besides visiting base exchanges and commissaries, which offer supplies close to cost, military families can get great deals at many major retailers by simply showing their IDs.
If you aren’t great at scouring the Internet yourself for deals, find coupons and tips from top shoppers on various military mommy blogs, where you can benefit from the research of others. This could save you hundreds of dollars if you have a big family.
Does your state have a tax-free shopping weekend? This is a great time to buy clothes and other key items needed for school. Research the dates and start making your lists. If your kids are picky when it comes to clothes, take them scouting for their favorites before the weekend and keep track of what you want to buy. Those shopping weekends are typically very busy, so go early and be strategic!
Create A Transition
After you’ve shopped, it’s time to prepare your family for the transition to a more structured day. Your kids will experience less downtime, which could be frustrating and tiring early on. Prepare them, and yourself, for change by trying the following:
- Start scheduling your normal summer activities around the framework of a school day a week or two before school starts.
- Start setting the alarm clock early if you have kids who like to sleep in. Begin to establish your school day morning routine.
- If your older children are in fall high-school sports, help them get conditioned before practices start by exercising with them.
- Minimize TV time and video games, as they won’t have access to these activities during the school day.
- Talk about what it means to have good behavior at school, on the bus, or in sports. Set your expectations early so they know the boundaries.
Make Life Easier For You, Too
In all the pandemonium to prepare for school, don’t forget about you. Make sure to get your calendar in order. Life gets crazy in September for many moms, who are juggling new “taxi-mom” schedules, tons of paperwork, and other demands. Sign-up your kids for fall activities to keep them active and healthy, but be careful to avoid overlapping schedules. And say no where you have to.
Prep for healthy meals. Freeze easy dinners for the first couple weeks of school. Plan nutritious after-school snacks. If you don’t work during the day, make a few coffee dates with friends those first couple weeks of school. Plan to start a new project or find a fun book to read. (And if you do work, consider taking a couple days off to enjoy some downtime at home!)
Back-to-school can be an exciting time for families. Make the most of the change by making smart decisions both financially and organizationally so you start well!
What’s your best tip for finding back-to-school deals? What’s your favorite school memory from childhood?