Parents and kids alike become anxious about the end of summer as they begin to stress about preparing for the upcoming school year. According to a recent poll by, a whopping 72 per cent of parents think their kids are stressed about homework (26 per cent), having to wake up early (23 per cent) or not fitting in with other kids (23 per cent) as back-to-school season looms.

The most stressful part of back-to-school season for parents, however, is the expense of shopping (26 per cent), with parents expecting to spend $168 per child on average. Luckily, there are a few ways to save money, lessen that anxiety and even build some anticipation for back-to-school by following some simple tips.

Ease into a school-year mindset
It can be a harsh transition from the lazy days of summer to a regimented schedule and homework, so start getting mentally prepared and gradually lean into the school year routine before summer ends. More than half (55 per cent) of parents start planning school-day meals well in advance, and 79 per cent of poll respondents have the kids get back into routine by adjusting their sleep schedule to prepare for the early wakeups.

Do the research
While most parents (94 per cent) say their online spending will be as much or even more than last year, employ some of the strategies these parents use to help save more, and stress less about the expense:

  • search retailer websites for deals (70 per cent)
  • search for online coupons and promo codes (53 per cent)
  • use cash back websites (41 per cent)
  • use mobile apps to find deals (41 per cent)
  • sign up for email notifications of sales and promotions (38 per cent)
  • use social media to find deals (33 per cent)

“Shopping online and utilizing a range of strategies when deal hunting for back-to-school can bring expenses down and help you feel more prepared, which can stir up excitement and anticipation – rather than stress – for the whole family,” says Baugniet.

Shop online
While 20 per cent of shoppers get their back-to-school shopping done earlier, the majority (78 per cent) do it in August or early September. This is namely because parents think back-to-school deals are better at the end of summer (49 per cent) or they’re too busy to shop any earlier (19 per cent).

This year, 70 per cent of parents plan to do at least some of their back-to-school shopping online, with 49 per cent finding that online shopping reduces the hassle – a significant jump from 42 per cent in 2018. And when it comes to who shops online, the poll reveals that Dads are more likely to shop online versus Moms (77 per cent versus 66 per cent).

Involve the kids
Whether it’s a backpack or sneakers, a new item for back-to-school is a great way to help build anticipation. A majority of Canadian parents (94 per cent) say they try to involve their kids in the back-to-school shopping process. Sixty-nine per cent of parents let their kids help pick out products, and 30 per cent let them help when shopping online.

Involving the kids can also trickle into the school year and help build their confidence and independence. Eighty five per cent of parents allow kids to pick out their own outfits for school, 75 per cent let their kids pack their own backpack, and 75 per cent have the kids help with chores around the house.

Parents can also indirectly involve kids by having them earn an allowance; 54 per cent of parents whose kids help out with chores around the house give them an allowance. Dads are more likely to give an allowance than Moms (62 per cent vs 49 per cent), which is used for a range of purposes, from savings (51 per cent) and buying clothing/accessories (42 per cent) to helping out with items for school (20 per cent).

Key tips for Canadians to save money and lessen the stress of back-to-school shopping (CNW Group/Ebates Canada)
Key tips for Canadians to save money and lessen the stress of back-to-school shopping (CNW Group/Ebates Canada)