Yup... it's that time of year again - Back To School. You can tell from all the TV ads and how heavy the Sunday paper was this weekend. I don't have kids, but I still enjoy this time of year - partially from the fond memories of shopping (yay! new clothes!) and partially because of all the school supplies available (an organizer dream time of year!!). Whether you're a parent shopping for your kids, a person who loves to shop, or you're just looking to update your wardrobe and get organized, here's a few tips to keep in mind before heading out:

Before you shop - take inventory of what you have
to better know what you need.

1. Take an inventory of what you already have - from pens and highlighters, to jeans and tee's, you can cut your expenses by taking stock of what you already have. If you already have tons of screen tees, tees, and tops, purchase a few new accessories - like scarves, earrings, bracelets or a new handbag - to help update your look to the trends. Try on all your jeans and beware of your body type - skinny jeans my be on trend - but they are not for all body types - boot-cut or trouser jeans for us in our 40's and up in a darker finish can update our wardrobe. Shop your closets - put together new combinations of what you already have - and take a few snapshots to help remind you of your new creations.

Check thrift shops like Goodwill

2. Check your local thrift or consignment shops - I've gotten some of my favorite coats and jackets by shopping thrift. Jackets are a great way to update a denim look (you can never go wrong with a classic black jacket!) - or even find your new favorite hoodie to take the chill off from a cold class room. If you plan on flying north this fall or winter, save yourself some cash and checkout Salvation Army or Goodwill. These stores are also a surprising spot to find your new favorite jeans - at a fraction of the cost from a retailer. And even lately Goodwill has good visuals - the stores around here had most all of their mannequins dressed in denim for back to school.
Put those percents in your pocket!

 3. Be aware of TAX FREE EVENTS in your area - Check your local news and radio sites for dates for TAX FREE holidays (16 states are participating - FLORIDA TAX FREE WEEKEND will be this coming weekend starting Friday August 13 and run through Sunday August 15. Florida's TAX FREE event will include NO TAX on items such as books, clothing, and footwear at $50 or less, as well as school supplies at $10 or less. (What home office couldn't use some highlighters, paper, folders, pens or pencils??)

Know before you go

Use coupons for extra savings

Pennies can add up to great savings

Go for BOGO's!

Compare prices & brands vs. budget & needs

Non-electronic stores could have better deals
(Kodak printer (at $79) less at Walmart than Office Max)

4. Be aware of sales - Check sales on line and know before you go shopping.  Some brick & mortar stores have a wider selection online than in stores and some are even offering free or flat rate shipping (like .99 shipping at Wet Seal) for back to school. Other stores will have incentives like extra discounts at specific times (otherwise known as door-busters) or they may have extended hours. Some retailers have even increased sale awareness having TEXT CODES for extra discounts. Also checkout eBay for some of the more expensive but trendier brand names (like Abercrombie) at a discount. Discount stores such as Marshalls and Ross are great places to shop for shoes and uniforms - but also a great place to stock up on some dorm items for people going away to college.


UGA Brumby Dorm - RateMySpace

5. If you are going away to college and staying in a dorm - Buy only the bare necessities - sheets, towels, pillows to personalize your space, and maybe a few stackable storage totes. From what I've been reading, most dorm spaces are no larger than 12' x 19' - and that's for TWO people. I found these three examples of what students in dorms do to personalize their dorm space as posted on RMS - and they've even got encouraging comments.

Take advantage of increased inventories in stores for
storage & organization elements for your home.

And just because you're not going back to school - maybe you're just getting your first apartment or you need some storage bins to help organize your home - now is the time to shop. Stores like Ikea, Marshalls and BigLots have tremendous inventories now on storage bins, not only in bright BTS colors, but tons of wicker and woven bins too (from about $7 and up).

Must have tech gadgets today -
a smart phone, a digital camera, an ipod and a computer.

Don't forget about the gadgets - both for students and yourself - if you've been thinking about upgrading your desk top, or investing in a laptop, or purchasing a camera, new printer or smart-phone - why wait until Christmas? There are some really great deals happening now from companies like Dell and Kodak (who has an Easy Share camera) - and both brands are available at Walmart, Office Max, and Best Buy. And for dorm dwellers - protect your gadgets (and yourself) by investing in a safe like a dorm vault available at (on sale for only $19.99)

With all you'll save this back to school, you'll be able to put towards whatever new versions of video games and gadgets come out for holiday - or then invest in an ipad...

Happy BTS Shopping!


  1. Great post and just in time, as I am gearing up to do BTS shopping for Alex. She is in the junior section now so it will be a lot of fun!!

  2. I love seeing all these different product from the united states. Cool post!

  3. Thanks Lynda!! Great info. I get to go school shopping for me!! I just launched my blog today and I hope you will become a reader.

  4. Thanks ladies!! Glad you liked it and hope the tips help! Congrats Deb on you blog launch - I'll have to stop by to check it out!

    Thanks for stopping by FOCAL POINT.
    :D Lynda



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