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Back-to-School Survival Guide

Although it feels like summer just began, another school year is right around the corner! With  back-to-school sales gearing up, it's time to start collecting everything your child needs for the year ahead.

With so much shopping required for the season, it can be tough getting all of your back to school essentials for the right price. But sticking to a budget doesn't have to mean skimping on the things that really matter. Here are five back to school tips to make sure starting this new school year is a breeze:

1. Make a To-Do List

Knowing exactly what you need and how much you're willing to spend for each item is the key to curbing impulse buying. All of us have been guilty of succumbing to the urge to shop till we drop, but one of the most important tips for back to school shopping is to make a detailed list to ensure you get everything you need without breaking the bank.

Making a list will also help you think of the sometimes-forgotten items necessary for the school year. We might be biased, but having a good mattress is just as important as having the right school supplies for the year.  Researchers who studied students at Harvard College and found that there were several differences between regular and irregular sleepers, including significant differences in grade point averages.

With  Mattress Firm's Back to School Special, now through August 14, you can save on one of the most important back to school items: a mattress!

2. Be a Bargain Hunter

A good deal can stretch your budget a long way, so be on the look-out for the lowest prices, particularly when on the hunt for big-ticket items. When you need to save, don't be afraid of doing a little research before heading out to make a purchase.

Knowing where to get the best deal is rule number one of being a back to school bargain hunter, so do your homework and don't get caught up in the shopping fever!

3. Set a Sleep Schedule

Help your kids get a jump start on their back-to-school sleep schedule. Without the pressure of school the next morning and more hours of daylight, many kids get into the habit of going to sleep later during the summer.

But when later bedtimes meet early morning wake-up calls, kids lose out on the sleep they need to have a productive day of learning in the classroom. To make sure your child is prepared for the school year ahead, help them adjust their body's clock by moving bedtime 10-15 minutes earlier each night to get back to a school appropriate bedtime routine.

Sleep is vital to memory retention and cognitive performance, so getting your child to bed on time in the weeks prior to school can be the best way to prepare them for a successful academic year.

4. Don't Forget the Fuel

Some mornings can be quite a rush, and between getting dressed and getting out the door, breakfast can get lost in the mix. In addition to having a restful night's sleep, every kid needs a nutritious start to their day, so don't forget the breakfast goodies on your back to school shopping list.

While not every breakfast needs to be a lavish spread, having the right nutrition to fuel a kid's body and mind is essential to academic success.

5. Stop to Enjoy the Moment

Before you get caught up in the flurry and stress of back to school preparation, don't forget to stop and enjoy the moment. Sending your child into a new school year is an exciting milestone in his/her life and should be cherished.

When the number of “firsts" are limited, take a minute to enjoy the happy moments in your child's life, no matter how big or small. Starting a new school year on a positive note can make all the difference!

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