Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back to School Shopping Tips That Work

Shopping for back to school items can be a very costly adventure for most families. It can be difficult when you have a shoe string budget and several students to cloth and to prepare for school. For many parents it is easy to go to the local store and purchase items. Unfortunately a shopper can pay 20 to 30 percent more by not considering the cost of the items they are purchasing.

It is better purchase back to school items when you can shop with patience. When you are in a rush to make a purchase and there is no planning involved you pay more. One of my major recommendations is to plan your shopping dates. If you have a plan you can avoid making unnecessary purchases. It’s amazing how many items you can add to your shopping cart that you did not intend to purchase. It's better to do your shopping before you go on vacation during August. It seems that when most families return from a late summer vacation classes are not far away. If you do not have an inventory of the things you already have you will make a costly purchases.

Each year the number of parents who are shopping online is growing. If you shop online many retailers offer discounts and free shipping. You will save money and purchase just the item you need. Some schools require certain clothes like Kaki pants and a green shirt. These items can be found on clothing websites too. The websites for Target and Walmart offer many of these clothing items. If you do your research early you can find a lot of savings.

Some shoppers stay away from the dollar store because they believe that these items are inferior. There are tremendous savings right in the dollar store. You can purchase binders, composition books, pencils, pens, crayons each for a dollar. Some of these items are perfectly good but other stores have sold them to the dollar store. Start your shopping at the dollar store and you will find some great savings.

There are some other valuable back to school shopping tips to consider. Here are my top five: (1) ask retailers about special back to school discounts, (2) shop and share with a group of friends, (3) search for a good laptop on websites like Dell and Apple, (4) ask your local book store about their next sales day, (5) take your list of items you have on your shopping trip. These tips all work when you apply them. Try something new and you will find that your savings ideas will explode.

The best way to enjoy your back to school experience is organizing a plan that you will follow. Involve your children by getting them to look for discounts. You can give them points toward the purchase of something they want. Getting a child’s participation will be a great way to make their new school year exciting. You can look on their school website to determine the items that your child needs. Every student wants to feel like they are prepared for the new school year. Let your back to school purchases be catalyst for an exceptional new year.

Dr Stephen Jones is national speaker, an education coach and author of Seven Secrets of How to Study, Parent's Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide at

5 Back to School How to Study Tips

The journey back to school is a time when students meet new friends and get adjusted to a new school environment. The adjustment is not limited to K12 students there are changes for college bound students too. Often after the first week students realize that they do not know how to study and they easily get behind on assignments. Going back to school becomes a burden when students realize how much work that they need to complete. Students don’t realize that learning how to study is one of the best ways to succeed during the new school year.

For most students it is easy to discover how much they do not remember from the prior year. The first test score or quiz can reveal a lot. It takes devotion to get back into the habit of studying. Students who want the best grade realize that they need to hit the ground running. They are ready for the challenge of a new school year and they are organized. There are five study tips that they have learned to use: (1). Start reading your chapters right away, (2). Pick up other books at the library, (3) always manage your time, (4) research your course topics over the internet and (5) form a study group. Go into each school year prepared to learn. The studying that you do prior to the beginning of school will help you to achieve better grades. The best students focus on having a great awareness of all of the requirements for each course.

Take advantage of the technology that is all around you. There are all types of gadgets that are essential for 21st century students. Every student should have a laptop that connects to the internet and prints documents. Some school systems are saving money by using laptop computers. They are reducing their paper consumption. Consider purchasing an IPOD which can be used to download educational information. There are programmable calculators that help with complex math problems. There is also the new IPAD that stores books and provides access to the internet. All of these technologies are converging to provide a wealth of knowledge for everyone.

The potential for independent learning opportunities is growing each year. You can be successful when you go back to school by pursuing knowledge with other friends. Make a commitment to forming a study group. You can meet in person or over the telephone. Hand out assignments by way of email. Each person must answer the assignment questions. Then set a time to meet in person or over the telephone. A group that starts out with a strong effort by everyone will have a greater chance of lasting until the end of the course.

Students who want to have success on every test must be prepared. Too many students who are in high school have a habit of waiting until the last minute to study. Students need better organization and a time management schedule to plan study time for every test. If you have a schedule you can study two or three days prior to your examination. You can surprise your instructor when your grades jump from a “B” to an “A+.” Improving your grades will give you greater confidence on other tests that you encounter. Time to get ready for a inspiring school year full of outstanding accomplishments.

Dr. Stephen Jones is a national speakker, author of the Seven Secrets of How to Study. the "Parent's Ultimate Education Guide" and the “Ultimate Scholarship Guide.” Dr. Jones can be contacted at or 610-842-3843.

Study Skills a Back to School Key to Success

Good study skills are an essential back to school learning tool that every student can carry into the new school year. Many students go back to school without the preparation that they need to succeed. Teachers say it often takes a month to get students back on track. Students need a study skills plan that they can implement during the new school year. They can start by writing down their goals for each class. A student can have a positive affect on their grades just by writing their goals down and increasing their effort in each class.

The foundation for a successful school year starts during the first month. A student who refuses to complain about class assignments is on the right track. A teacher will rarely change a class assignment because the students complain. It’s time to cancel the old study habits of waiting until the last minute to complete an assignment or to prepare for a test. Each student must ask themselves what habit served as distraction to studying last year. The new school year presents many opportunities to improve your study skills and to eliminate distractions. Brain storm all of the ways that you make each class a new learning experience. You should enter the new school year with a deep commitment to excellence.

Students who are using good study skills function differently. They have learned to use their time effectively. They arrive at their test prepared because they have allocated their time to study each week. They realize that it is easy to lose time on personal internet searches, text messaging and listening to IPod recordings. Their priorities are set and they are not willing to compromise.

One of the important things that a student can do is write down their study plans every day. Before each class begins a student should read the chapter a week in advance. It’s important for each student get their mind ready to absorb the information that they are studying. By starting early a student can eliminate their stress so that they are more relaxed when reading assignments. It’s a good idea to develop your own outline of important facts as you read. Don’t be afraid to e-mail your instructor questions if you do not understand a topic.

Developing a strategy that allows you to effectively implement you study skills is important. Managing your academic goals and your time will help you to keep organized when other students are trying to find their way. Create an outline of the chapters that you need to read every day. The effective management of your time will give you the ability to have study periods and enjoyable activities throughout your week.

When you have the right study skills you will have a road map for achieving an A+ in each class. You will go the extra mile to do the research that makes all of your responses on test questions stand out. An instructor can tell the students who are making special efforts to obtain new knowledge in the subject that they are teaching. Let your study skills lead you to a higher level of achievement in every class and you will have a great back to school experience. Dr Stephen Jones is an outstanding educator and consultant he is the author of “Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship guide at He can be contacted at 610-842-3843.

Back to School Cell Phone Craze is Booming

When students and parents start their shopping list for the new school year one item on the top of their list is a cell phone. How times have changed. The idea of searching for paper and pencils is taking a back seat to modern technology. The cell phone companies have caught on and they are releasing so many new cell phones each month that it is hard for anyone to catch up. Cell phones have reached epidemic proportions throughout American society. You cannot go to a city or countryside road without finding someone who is using a cell phone.

A growing phenomenon among parents and students is text messaging. The ringing of the phone has been silenced by the tapping of alphabetic keys. Messages between cell phones can be transferred instantaneously. Students are using text messaging to respond to each other and to communicate with their parents. Abbreviations are often used when text messages are sent. It represents a form of communication that has broad implications for society. Text messaging can take up time that a student would normally spend studying. At the same time students can send a reminder that a homework assignment is due. It has become a two edged sword that allows parents to pick up a child from football practice or to plan a trip to a movie.

Communicating fast has become an even faster way of keeping parents in touch with their student. Parents realize that when their son/daughter goes back to school putting down the cell phone to focus will require real discipline. Students are too easily disrupted by the buzz of their cell phones. The speed at which a student communicates can cause a chain reaction of positive or negative results for a student who has a test on the next day. Peer pressure can even occur when one student yields to the temptation to respond to a cell phone call rather than study.

Communication by way of the cell phone is here to stay. School districts are forced to come up with strong statements about when the cell phone may be used during the school day. Students try to find creative ways to ignore the rules. Parents are frustrated when they must go to school to retrieve their son/daughters cell phone. Learning by way of the cell phone has been a challenge for most schools. Cell phone use is not easily incorporated into class instruction like an actual computer. Some professionals have found ways to download papers to the cell phone and read them while they are traveling but this is not a priority for students.

Some students are using their cell phones to discuss assignments and presentations they are giving. Students can save some of the major points of their presentation on their cell phone. Students can send a reminder that a quiz is occurring tomorrow to a friend. Messages like it’s time to get prepared. Some students put reminders in their cell phone and the phone makes a funny noise to remind them to start preparation for a major test. The calendar can also be used as a way to manage time.

During the twenty first century technology will continue to influence the back to school journey. Schools that use laptop computers to educate students are already springing up all over the country. Cell phones do offer news, television and the internet but most students do not have access to these services. Moving forward bringing the cost down and increasing the services will make the versatility of the cell phone a total learning experience. It is apparent that going back to school will never be the same. Dr. Stephen Jones is author of a new book the Ultimate scholarship, Seven Secrets of How to Study and the Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide” and the “Ultimate Scholarship Guide.” Dr. Jones can be contacted at or 610-842-3843.

Back to School on a Shoe String Budget

According to Dr. Stephen Jones, parents can save thousands of dollars by mapping out a back to school shoe string budget. Annually the cost of going back to school continues to rise. Supplying one child for a k12 school or college can cost between $300 and $1000. In fact one student recently said a book he purchased cost $200. While this may not be the norm it is cause for alarm for parents who have several children. Parents must make difficult choices regarding the quality of materials their children will use to present term papers and projects that are due during the school year. Often parents get so busy during the summer that they fail to plan a school supply budget and they end up running around from store to store trying to reduce the cost of book bags, calculators, text books, computers and etc.

It is clear that the retail stores are doing their research and they know that parents will flood the stores around the third week of August. Most parents would prefer to go to one store to get all of their supplies but they look in the papers and discover that the prices vary from store to store. Dr. Jones says that parents can save hundreds of dollars by making wise purchases. Here’s how parents can save hundreds of dollars:

1. Don’t shop at the last minute right before school is about to start.

2. Identify a discount school supply store so that you don’t end up shopping at the local corner store.

3. Check the internet for sales at websites such as Get together with friends and buy some things in bulk.

4. Don’t be afraid to buy some clothing at a thrift store. You can save hundreds of dollars.

5. Check your supplies from last year before you go out to buy new supplies. You will reduce the chances that you are purchasing items that you have stored from last year.

6. Ask your local school where they order their supplies from and contact the store for a catalogue or website.

7. Consider purchasing certain items at the Dollar Store near you.

8. Purchase books at discount websites that are on the internet

It’s amazing that some parents are willing to spend more money because they are unwilling to invest time to uncover savings. The hundreds of dollars that are saved can help with the purchase of a new computer and printer. Don’t cave in to the temptation to putting your purchases on a credit card. The credit card debts that parents obtain at the beginning of the school year can last until the next summer if a parent is not cautious. Parents who are shopping on a shoe string budget recognize that credit cards are potholes that will take you thousands of dollars off track.

Mobilize family and friends who can keep an eye out for special school supply sales. Parents can use a number of methods to stay in touch. First consider using the cell phone to create a list of people who will be looking out for certain supplies that you have identified. Also, friends and family can contact you immediately when they discover a good sale. Parents can give friends and family money in advance or ask them to pay for it and agree to pay them back. Using e-mail can also be a good method to share websites that offer the products at prices that are not available at the stores. The links to website can be put right within the text of the e-mail, which makes it easy fro a parent to make a purchase right away.

You can save thousands of dollars by shopping on shoe string budget. Get started right away and you will not regret it. Dr Stephen Jones is education consultant author of three books the Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parent's Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide available at

5 Back to School Savings Tips

Every year thousands of parents grab a cart and engage in the age old tradition of back to school shopping. There is a level of excitement in the air as students consider new school supplies and what clothes they will wear back to school. All parents can do is look at their pockets and try to find a way to stretch a dollar. Many parents start their shopping without a plan and that’s where money is lost. Have you ever noticed how things are strategically placed around the store so that you will make random purchases? There are all kinds of pencils, notebooks and paper right within your grasp.

There are some things that you can do to resist the temptation to spend too much. First make a list of the most expensive items that you need to purchase. Check the internet and advertisements in your local newspaper. This is important especially when you are purchasing electronic products like lap tops, Ipods and digital recorders. The money that you save from these purchases can add up to hundreds of dollars. Recognize that every product that has a sales tag can be bought cheaper if you are willing to do your research.

The second tip is to watch for the best day of the week to purchase clothes and other items. Some stores have sales on certain days of the week. This is done to increase the number of parent’s and students who are coming into their store. As you shop for sales it may be worth returning on another day. Talk with your relative who works in a retail store. They may have a discount that they can use on your purchases. There could be an additional discount in addition to the sale that is going on in the store.

Third there are numerous websites where you can purchase books at a discount. Search Google for discount book websites. Purchasing books online is real convenient today. Books that you order usually arrive in 3 to 5 days. Still it is better to purchase books well before they are needed. If your son/daughter needs the book to write a report the book will be available to get started early. Also consider purchasing reference books so that your son/daughter will have books to look at when they do not understand a particular definition or subject.

A forth back to school saving tip involves purchasing shoes and sneakers at a reduced price. There are stores that sell hundreds of shoes. You need to keep an eye on the prices several times a week. Sometimes local stores want to move inventory so that they will lower their prices. Ask your child how often he/she talks with their peers about where they get the best sneaker discounts.

A fifth tip is to form a group of parents who can each purchase some items in bulk. Pencils and paper can be shared by parents. Create a supplies storage container where you will keep all of the items. This is one way that you can avoid purchasing too many items that you already have. Before you go shopping go to your storage draws and take an inventory of all of things you need. You will be amazed at how much you have in storage from last year,

Now that you’ve saved hundreds of dollar focus on your child’s education. Decide on something that you will do to make education fun this year. Load up your students book bags with good snacks. Even high school students need snacks because they can loose their energy during the day. Remember a healthy body will boost a student’s performance on tests. Make your back to school journey one that is full of good expectations. You can control your back to school spending and have a great new school year too. Dr Stephen Jones is an education expert, consultant and author of three books the Seven Secrets of how to Study, the Parent’s Ultimate education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide available at