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4 Back-To-School Shopping Tips For The New Normal

One of the effects to the business industry that’s brought about by the pandemic is the rise in e-commerce businesses. As more physical shops are still closed or limited in terms of capacity, and with the impending danger of catching the virus, so many more individuals are choosing online shopping as their chosen means to buy the goods and pay for the services they need.

For parents and students, this also means back-to-school shopping. With the new normal coming in, some schools have opened up physical classes, while others still practice distance learning or homeschooling. Hence the need for the usual back-to-school shopping trips.

With that said, this article highlights some of the best tips to carry you through back-to-school shopping, as brought about by the changes of this new normal.

  1. Shop safely and conveniently from your mobile phone

back to school shopping tips

With the coming in of more advanced smartphones, this also means that shopping can also now be conveniently done and completed online. Preferably, through mobile phones.

This means that businesses have to make their stores available online and even have their catalogues online to meet the increasing demand of customers to shop from their mobile phones.

If you don’t fancy going out just yet or particularly if you have young children and senior citizens at home, then shopping through stores’ online websites and mobile apps is your best and safest bet.

You can still make this online shopping experience fun for you and your child by sifting through the pages of the online Smiggle catalogue, and other brands you’re shopping from together. By doing so, you can choose what your child wants as well (that fits the budget, obviously). When your kids are excited about their school supplies, this can also be an incentive for them to adjust better through the challenges of distance learning.

As a word of caution, however, do ensure you’re only shopping from reputable websites and apps, so you won’t fall into the hands of scammers. Take extra care, especially if you’re going to pay using your debit or credit card.

Check out our article on identity theft to see what to do when someone steals your details. 

Buying school shoes online this year? Check out our article on choosing the best school shoes for your child.

  1. Focus on the big purchases first

One of the biggest challenges that many households have to face during this pandemic season is that now, parents have to work from home and kids are learning from home too. Depending on your work schedule, it might not always be doable to share a laptop, computer, or at least an iPad with your students at home.

If the budget is tight right now, then focus on the big purchases first, like a new laptop or iPad, for instance. Take the time to thoroughly research your local computer and gadget stores, as you may also be able to find good deals and discounts on distance learning gadgets.

Don’t sweat the ‘smaller’ expenses, like crayons, pencils, and other learning materials. A sneaky way to go about with this is to incorporate it, little by little before school starts, on your grocery shopping. Especially if you have multiple students and you’re also still recovering from a possible financial downfall during the pandemic, this strategy can help you break up the expenses of the school supplies, so it wouldn’t feel like such a heavy budget burden to bear.

  1. Practice safety precautions

In places where physical shopping has opened up and you still wish to bring the kids out to shop with you, then be very cautious with the safety precautions. Always have your alcohol and sanitizer with you as you shop. And, be very mindful of what your kids are touching, especially if you have young toddlers with you.

For families with multiple children, you may also want to break the shopping trips per child. Don’t bring both or the three kids all at once, as it’ll be harder for you to stay on track with their hygiene and sanitation.

  1. Shop your home

With distance learning or homeschooling becoming the norm since last year, this means that many of you may have ‘leftover’ school supplies around your home. Or, you may even have your own stock of supplies, like as if you have your craft store. Perhaps you’ve stocked up on supplies from the past year, to avoid regular trips to the store.

Before you shop for new school supplies this school year, take the time to shop for your home first. Go through what you have. That way, if you have the supplies already, then you’ll no longer have to buy any more.


So, with these tips, are you now ready to kick-start your back-to-school shopping? Depending on where you’re from, the experience may be a lot different than how it used to be during pre-pandemic. But, it doesn’t have to mean any less special, especially for your kids. The tips above also help you ensure to stay within budget, particularly during this pandemic, it’s a fact too, that many are still recovering from the loss of jobs. The pandemic may have temporarily halted a lot of things, but this doesn’t include academics. Pandemic or not, back-to-school shopping is here to stay.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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