Back to School Tips and Tricks


In these challenging economic times, back-to-school time can be an expensive experience. We all want to do everything we can to ensure our kids have all they need to have a successful school year. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to see to it that your child is ready.  

 There are several simple strategies that will help you stretch your back-to-school funds. You really can spend less this year while preparing your children for their best school year ever! 

What You Already Have on Hand

Your Child’s Clothing Drawers

Your Child’s Closet

Making the “Master List”

School Supplies


What To Do With Outgrown Clothes

Garage Sale Facebook Marketplace  sell on Ebay 

Swap with Family 

Donate Charity Shops

More Simple Strategies to Increase Your Back to School Savings

Set and stick to Your Budget

Shop During Late Spring/Summer Sales plan ahead

Use Social Networking to Pump up Back to School Savings

Where to Shop

Time Your Shopping

The Best Time to Shop for School Supplies

The Best Time to Shop for Clothes

The Best Time to Shop for Computer and Technology

What You Already Have on Hand

Most of us at some point have bought an item we thought we needed, only to come home and discover that we already had one! This is particularly true with back-to-school shopping.

Before the pressures from peers and advertisements encourages your kids to ask you relentlessly for new gear, it’s important to know what school supplies and clothing your children already have. 

Sometime early in your child’s summer vacation, plan a few days to “explore” together their desk, clothing drawers, and closet. The age of your child will determine how much help they can be in this process.

This “cleaning out” task helps in many ways: you’ll get rid of garbage that’s collected in your children’s rooms, find nearly new items to save for the coming school year, and create space for new school supplies and clothes. 

  • Your Child’s Desk: Home of Hidden School Supplies

Although your ultimate purpose is to take inventory, you’re also looking to find space for the new school supplies you’ll soon be buying.

Follow this handy list of basic steps for this process:

  • Go through your child’s desk drawer by drawer. Be sure to check every drawer. You may even want to dump them out on the floor and go through the piles of stuff there, rather than rummage through the drawers themselves.
  • As you’ve probably learned long ago, kids can be remarkably good at “hiding” items from parents, and even from themselves
  • Have your child help you sort out nearly new items, partially used items, and old desk supplies that can be thrown away. If your child seems resistant, try making a treasure hunt out of it. Create a list of school supplies you’re “hunting” for and check them off as they find each one.
  • Place all the nearly new supplies in a box. A large, clear Tupperware or Rubbermaid tub is a great way to see what you’ve got inside of it. Of course, any box will work – even a used cereal box if you’re really tight on money.
  • Label the box clearly, and put it somewhere out of reach until the next school year. Once you’ve gone to the work of gathering all of these supplies, there’s no sense letting them go back “into circulation.” You’d just have to find them all over again!
  • Your Child’s Clothing Drawers

Next, it’s time to clean out the closet, dresser, and other clothing storage. Start with the drawers to make room for more folded clothes.

  • Divide and conquer. One by one, remove the drawers and sort the clothes. For this, it helps to have three boxes or bags. Label them “To Keep,” “To Give Away,” and “Garbage.”
  1. The rag bag. Items that are torn, stained, faded, or worn go into the rag bag or the garbage.
  2. Does it fit? Have your child try on clothing items that are still in good shape. Do they fit? Are they good enough to use to start out the upcoming school year?
  • If the garments fit and you believe they’re appropriate for your child to wear to school, place those items neatly into an emptied drawer.
  1. Separate play clothes. Clothing that can still be worn but that you don’t see as school-worthy can be stored in a separate drawer. These garments can be for wearing around the house or when your child goes out to play.
  2. What to give away. If you come across clothes in pretty good shape but that don’t fit, fold them neatly and place them into the “To Give Away” box
  • Donate those items to a favorite charity, hand them down to other parents, or better yet, keep them for a Swap Meet. Whether you make money from reselling them or just see them off to other homes, you’ll be glad to have helped someone with your cast-offs.

Once you’ve cleaned out the drawers, move to the closet. You’ll have made lots of space for folded clothes, including play clothes, some of which will probably be “retired” from the closet.

  • Your Child’s Closet

The closet will probably be the most challenging space to get through with your child. Explain that it’s smart to see what clothing your child has so you’ll know what to buy for the new school year. You might want to begin going through the closet in the morning after breakfast, so the both of you are well-rested.

Because kids’ closets often have cluttered floors, try starting there. Have a garbage bag, a box, and some extra hangers ready. As you pick up items on the floor, determine if they need to be thrown out or laundered.

If your child hasn’t worn an item for some time, let them try it on so you’ll know whether it will work for the coming school year. For clothes that are outgrown or suitable only for play, put them in the appropriate bag or box.

Next, go through clothing items on hangers in the closet. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. For many of the items, you’ll be able to tell at a glance whether to toss them, save them for school, or keep them for playtime.

This is Part one Take a look at Part 2 the ultimate checklist 

Back to School The Ultimate Checklist

Making the “Master List”

Whenever you shop for anything, go with a list in hand. The process of making the list encourages you to think through what’s truly needed. In general, writing it won’t take long. 

Simply record the essentials your child will need, including school supplies and clothing. Consider what specific types of clothing your child needs. 

Keep in mind that there’s no need to shop for a whole year’s worth of clothes at once! Your child may outgrow them anyway. Focus on fall, and go from there. 

  • School Supplies

You’ll likely need some specific school supplies for the upcoming academic year. Here are some items you might include on this list: 

  • Pens
  • Lined paper
  • Crayons
  • Ruler
  • Protractor
  • Spiral notebooks
  • 3-ring binders
  • Backpack
  • Art supplies
  • Calculator

Once you’ve got your list, you’re ready to dig into the details. Many schools also publish lists of particular supplies your child needs for that year’s assignments, so include those necessities on your list as well.

These additional suggestions may save you money also:

    1. Think about what type of backpack your child needs. Depending on your child’s age and stature, you might want to consider a rolling backpack to help them avoid shoulder and back injuries.
  • Know the exact type of supplies needed, as many teachers are quite specific about their requirements. For example, if your child is in middle school or high school, you may need to purchase a scientific or graphing calculator.
  1. Be familiar with the stores in your area. If your child has enough leftover school supplies to last for the first 2 weeks or so of school, consider waiting until after that time to buy anything new if the retailers in your area tend to offer deep discounts on leftover inventory after school starts.
  • However, some retailers offer the deepest discounts before school starts to entice you to their store during a time when you might be doing a lot of shopping, so pay close attention to the specials of competing stores.
  • Clothing

Reflect on what types of clothing and how many of each kind of garment your child needs for school. Review the following sections to determine which of these clothing suggestions will work for your child

  1. If you have a daughter. For girls, consider this list of clothes to start the school year off right:
  • 2 new pairs of comfortable pants
  • 3 pairs of jeans
  • 1 skirt or dress 
  • 3 blouses or shirts 
  • 5 pairs of socks 
  • A light jacket or long sweater
  • A winter coat with hat and gloves
  1. If you have a son. For boys, the list includes:
  • 3 new pairs of pants
  • 3 good shirts
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • A light windbreaker
  • A winter coat with hat and gloves

As with school supplies, if your child has enough clothes to begin the new school year, wait a few weeks to buy new clothes. Kids’ clothing goes on sale at that time and you can get a lot more for your money.

Writing down what your child needs to start the school year is important. To be comprehensive, include both supplies and specific clothing items on your list. With list in hand, you can do your shopping with a clearer idea of what your child needs to be prepared.

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August is here, and soon we will be thinking about heading back to school. In the mean time the following bloggers have collaborated together to bring you a fantastic competition to win a £50 Amazon gift card.

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How to Write a List Blog Post: Planning, Formatting and Tips

There are many different types of blog posts, but a list blog post is one that has an ordered list with items. They are typically used to share tips and information in a concise way. If you’re looking for some inspiration, this post will cover how to plan and format your own list blog posts as well as provide tips on what to include!

What is a list post (a.k.a listicle)?

A list post is a type of blog post that has an ordered list with items. They are typically used to share tips and information in a concise way, which makes them easy to digest for readers browsing on the internet.

What can be included?

List posts can include anything from lists filled out by one person (i.e., who is writing the list) to collaborative lists with other people. The list can include anything under the sun, but typically it’s used for sharing tips and information in a concise way.

Planning your post

When planning your list post, think about what you want to cover as well as how many items there will be on the list. When thinking of content around each item, you want to be able to write enough to make the post engaging but not too much that it becomes long-winded. You don’t want your readers to lose interest after reading the first sentence of a list item, so think about what’s important for them and what they would find interesting

Understand what problem you’re solving

Another important part of planning a list post is to think about what problem you’re solving.  Are you helping someone find five options for the best email marketing company?  Or ten of the best releases on Netflix this year? 

Knowing what you’re solving for will help guide the content of your list, and make it more valuable to readers.

What’s the strategic goal with the post?

The final part of the post is to think about the strategic goal of the post.  Most commonly, you want to get this type of post shared on social media.  They may not be the best for organic traffic but people love to share and comment on them.  You can also use them as a lead generation tool, by including an email capture form at the end of each list post.

What are the benefits to your audience? 

The other reason for planning posts is understanding what you’re going to offer readers in return for their time when they read it. Are you sharing insider tips on how people do a certain thing or what they love most about something?  These types of posts are about building trust and credibility with readers.

Writing your list post

Once you have a basic idea of what you are writing about and why, there are a few core elements you need to include to make it a great list blog post.

An attention-grabbing heading

Headlines are super important for any type of blog post and lists are no different.  You always want the number of items on your list in the post along with your main keyword for good SEO.

A solid introduction that keeps them reading

An introductory sentence or paragraph that explains the list and why you’re writing it 

This is probably your most important part of the post as this will be what gets readers to keep reading. You want them hooked from the first sentence or they’ll just scroll right on by. This is where we get into a general idea about how long each item on the list is going to be.

Keep the list organised logically

Some lists can be a bit random in their order but others want to be organised logically.  If you are writing about 25 new books released this year, you might want to group them by category such as romance or horror.

Alphabetical lists can work if there’s no clear logical or you don’t want to seem like you are favouring one entry over another.

Useful and in-depth content

How in-depth you go with each item of your list depends on the purpose and style of list.  But you always want to be sure the list is useful and that the reader gets some benefit from it.  You could use this as a spot to add affiliate links such as to an Amazon product for a book you discuss or for a free trial for software you are mentioning.

Make sure there’s a call to action

Lastly, add a call to action or CTA that tells the reader what to do next.  Is it to buy a product or subscribe? Or do you want them to leave their email address so they can be notified when the next list is released?  Even to comment below or share with a friend can be a useful CTA to add.

Editing the post

The final step is to edit the post and make sure the format is good.  Aside from the usual checks you would make for any blog post, there’s a couple of best practices for list posts to consider.

How to make it scannable

With list posts, it is always a good idea to make sure it is scannable.  That means using good heading structure and bullet points where possible such as explaining the pros and cons of something or the basics facts about it.

Use good heading structure for longer lists

If the list is longer than one paragraph, it can be helpful to use good heading structure.  This way readers know what they’re reading about and don’t need to read every sentence of a list item in order to understand what’s being said.

Harness the power of the listicle

The post includes a list of items that should be included in the list blog post. It also provides formatting and stylistic tips to make your posts more shareable on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter as well as how to plan for it. Now get started writing your own high quality, informative and shareable lists by following these steps!

How to Write a Case Study Blog Post

How to Write a Case Study Blog Post

The case study blog post is a great way to show off your results, and the tutorial will teach you how to write one. Case studies are a great marketing tool that can be used in conjunction with other strategies like SEO (search engine optimization). They’re also very popular on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn because they allow users to share their own success story.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-read yet detailed guide, then this article has all of the information you need!

What is a case study?

Let’s start with the basics – what is a case study? A case study can be defined as a report or research paper that studies an individual, group or event. It’s written to present the subject in detail and is often used for academic purposes. But here we are talking about the types used for marketing content.

Case studies are able to provide more detailed information about your product than you might otherwise be able to convey through other means such as a sales page or email marketing.

This is where using case studies can come in handy – and how you should write one to get the most out of it. It’s important that you know what your goal with a case study will be before deciding on how long or detailed it needs to be, as well as who you want to target.

What type of case study should you write?

The type of case study that you should plan on writing is one where there is an opportunity or problem, and after following additional steps or experimenting with other solutions, it’s solved using what you’re about to teach you in the course or solve for you with the product.

Getting the right type of case study is important because they have to be honest and show the person how they improved their life or business.

An example of a case study that would not work is one where someone writes about how happy they are with an event like getting married, because there’s no opportunity for improvement in that story. Another type might be using sports statistics but it may not apply as well to people who aren’t interested in that sport.

Case studies in marketing

In marketing, case studies are used to show how successful a business is with its product or service. It can be used to showcase the effectiveness of your own services, course or products.

The case study blog post tutorial will teach someone who creates their own content how to make an interesting and good read but also get across the most important points and stats for people to purchase leads or buy more of the product.

What information do you need to write a case study?

When writing a case study blog post, you will need certain information including:

  • The service or product that you are writing about
  • Who the target audience is (if there’s a specific one)
  • What your goal with this blog post will be–to convince people to buy, sign up for an email list, etc.
  • Stats and how they compare to averages in your industry. You may need some outside research on the topic before you write too much of this section if it isn’t a common statistic already known by most readers.

Tips for writing a case study

The goal of writing case study blog posts? The goal of this tutorial is not just for someone to publish something on their website with good content but also get across some important points and stats so people are more likely to buy or sign up.

The main aim of a case study should be to present data-backed arguments about how your product has helped others. You want readers who stumble upon your site through search engines (those keywords!) and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, see what you’re offering in one glance.

Your persuasive argument might convince them that they need what you have–or at least give it credibility so they will consider it and research it further.

Only use technical jargon where needed in case people not familiar with industry terms come across the case study.

Include a brief introduction to the case study, with background information.

Answer key questions about how this product can help readers in question form at the beginning of your case study for quick reference.

List five or six benefits and include them in body copy as you talk about specific issues people are having that this service could solve (include real-world examples minus names and identifiable information where possible.)

Include a conclusion at the end of your case study with a call to action.

Have a dedicated case studies page

If you want prospective clients to feel comfortable with your company’s work, it is important that they are able to find examples of completed projects. It doesn’t matter if the page has a clever title like “Case Studies” or “Success Stories,” as long as visitors can easily search and spot what their needs may be in relation to your business.

Get inspired by Google’s Think With Google case study page: while the copy isn’t engaging on its own, one look at how well structured this webpage appears will have readers coming back for more!

Put case studies on your home page

On your homepage, you can provide visitors with evidence to show that other customers are happy. Here’s how: 

  • Include a call-to-action for specific case studies on the page or have them pop up in slide over form
  • Mention customer testimonials at all times and include quotes from satisfied clients throughout different pages of your website with a CTA to the case studies page

Make the best use of case studies

We’ve covered how to make a case study blog post, but what are some specific ways you can use these posts in your marketing strategy?

You could create one for any of the following topics:  

  • A course or service that teaches people something they need (e.g., blogging tips)  
  • A product with an ongoing subscription service (e.g., monthly meal plans)  
  • An event hosted by your company like an art show or music concert 
  • An affiliate product with a study of how you use it and the benefits or results you got from it

So what are the different ways you could use case studies in your business to help increase leads and drive sales?