3 Ways to Plan Early for Back to School

You may not want to spend the last days of your kids’ summer vacation thinking about back to school preparations, but planning now can save you a lot of unnecessary pressure this fall. Divide up key tasks that need to be done before school starts and get them accomplished now. Here are a few suggestions for your to-do list:

Vaccinations

Be sure to check whether or not your kids are due to have their shots updated. If so, they aren’t the only ones; schedule an appointment now to be sure you get in on time. If you postpone and get stuck on a waiting list, your child may not be allowed to start school until proof of immunizations is shown.

While there are no federal vaccination laws, each state has its own vaccination requirements for children attending public schools. Mumps, rubella, measles, pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus and polio are immunizations typically required. For older students, especially those heading to college, ask your doctor for information regarding HPV and Meningococcal vaccines.

If you have a letter from the school nurse, be sure to bring it, along with your student’s most recent shot record.

Laptops, Tablets, Smartphones

No, your first-grader probably doesn’t need any high-tech gadgets, but your high school or college student may! To help keep costs of major purchases like this down, Apple is giving $50 and $100 App Store gift cards with certain purchases. Buying a new Mac earns you $100, and you’ll receive $50 for an iPad or iPhone purchase. Gift cards are for the App Store, not retail stores, but your student can still use it to buy books, movies, music and apps from the iBookstore, iTunes Store, and Mac App Store.

You need to purchase the Mac or iPad from the Apple Online Store for Education, an Apple Retail Store, or an Apple Authorized Campus Store to qualify for the bonus. iPhone purchases must be made directly from Apple. Only college students, a student accepted to college, a parent purchasing for a college student, or a faculty or staff member at an education institution are eligible as well.

Apple offers educational pricing discounts up to $200 as well, so be sure not to miss any additional discount available!

School Clothes and Supplies 

For many, the shopping for back-to-school outfits and supplies can be the most fun part of heading back to class. Others dread it. Starting now is a good idea no matter where you stand on the subject. You can either get it out of the way early, or spread out the enjoyment!

When it comes to buying clothes for the new school year, there isn’t anything worse than not finding the sizes you need or the specific uniform pieces you require. Getting a jump-start on the crowds will ensure you have the pick of the sizes and items you need. If your student wears a uniform, use discounts to stock up on items he or she will need throughout the year. Sears already gives you $10 off Dockers uniform purchases of $75 or more, and if you’re a Shop Your Way Rewards member, the discount doubles.

Don’t forget that empty backpack your student will need to fill up before heading back. Pens, paper, notebooks, etc. will all eventually get used, lost or broken, so buy in bulk now at a lower price to save money throughout the year.

Often, shopping for supplies requires multiple trips to the store due to new additions to the school-provided list, the wrong size paper or the rise of a new celebrity heartthrob that demands a new set of folders. Staples actually accounted for this with its Back-to-School Savings Pass. Available until Aug. 31 for $10, the pass is valid until Sept. 21 and gives you a 15 percent discount on all purchases during that time.

The early bird gets the (book)worm, so get a jump on your back-to-school preparations now and stress less this fall.

(Disclosure: Guest post by Ashley.)

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