This post is sponsored by Orlando International Premium Outlets, a Simon Mall.
Friends, the Back to School Tax Free shopping holiday is upon us (AKA, the Black Friday of Summer) and if you’re like me, you may have no other option than to do all of your shopping with your littles in tow! YEP. I feel you. I’m on your level girlfriend. You’re dreading the fight with crowds and standing in long checkout lines while your littles battle over who gets to stand next to mom, or worse!
BUT, I can tell you that after 4 hours of shopping last night, in and out of 13 stores PLUS 2 hours at a huge retailer this morning, we survived! Not only did we survive BUT, we actually enjoyed our time together….ALL five of us!
Here’s how I did it:
- MAKE A PLAN: You may remember me posting a Plan Of Action for shopping the Orlando Premium Outlets two weeks ago. If not, hop over HERE to read! My biggest piece of advice is to PLAN AHEAD. Download your school supply list in advance, make a shopping list of clothes and shoes WITH sized for each piece you need if you have multiple kids, and set expectations for everyone in your family. When I say expectations, I mean-let everyone know in advance that you’re there for X, Y, and Z and nothing else!
- BEATING THE LINES: If you enter a store and see the lines are getting outrageous, I encourage you and your family to split up! Give dad a list and keep a list for yourself and make a plan for one of you to stand and wait in line while the other finished selecting their last few items! (I know some people may be against this but, personally-I think if you have a lot of kids in tow and this is your only option, you get free pass mama!)
- PACK SMART (& LIGHT): With any trip out, make sure you’re packing the essentials! Handheld games that are great on the go, snacks, water, and of course-ALWAYS carry a battery charger for your cell! You may be using your phone to scan coupons, look up price matching, etc. So, be prepared with a charger in hand! *if you don’t have a battery pack that charges wirelessly-remember that most malls and shopping centers now have charging stations!
- STROLLER: If you follow us on Instagram, you’ve probably realized already how much we love our Keenz wagon. It’s a LIFESAVER. But, it was especially helpful with our shopping trip yesterday! Strollers and push wagons are AWESOME for wrangling kids while you’re out but, even if the kids don’t want to sit in your stroller, utilize it for storing all of your new purchases!!
- CONDENSE YOUR PURCHASES: Along with the stroller idea, you may start unloading all of your purchases into your stroller after your kids decide they’ve had enough sitting. To set yourself up for success, i strongly suggest condensing all of your purchases into one large bag if you can! This way, if your little decides they want to ride again, you’re just moving one bag and not juggling several while fighting your tiny human! *Also, it’s a lot easier to lose or forget a bag (or a few) during a stop if you have MANY!
- INCLUDE YOUR FAMILY IN THE PLANNING PROCESS: The boys always appreciate when we let them help make decisions! So, in sharing our center map with them and letting them choose stores the wanted to visit when we planned out our shopping trip, they were more excited and willing to stay for the long haul! Also, letting your littles help in the selection process of their items can ALWAYS be a win!
Something else to consider:
Spending wisely may not keep your kids happy while you’re shopping but, they sure will be happy getting more than your budget may have originally allowed!
Make the most out of your budget like we did, at the Orlando International Premium Outlets! Shopping at outlet retailers not only gives us an already stretched budget but, we’re also saving more with all of the savings the center offers their shoppers! (Especially during this tax free holiday!)
How to save EVEN MORE at Orlando Premium Outlets:
On top of the already AMAZING and totally FREE savings options I listed in THIS post, the Orlando Premium Outlets have added additional ways to save that can be stacked on top of already low prices and coupons!
- TAX FREE!! August 2-August 6, the Orlando Premium Outlets will be participating in the Tax Free Holiday!
- Visit during the Sidewalk Super Sale Friday, August 2 through Tuesday, August 6 to hit the jackpot on those already-low prices going even LOWER!
- BACK TO SCHOOL RECEIPTS TO REWARDS – 8/1/2019 – 8/31/2019 Spend $150 or more combined at the following retailers, then check back in with your receipts at guest services to receive a FREE $25 American Express Simon Gift Card!! (**Must spend $150 collectively at these retailers: Skechers, Carter’s, Old Navy, H&M, Polo Ralph Lauren Children’s Factory Store, Vans Outlet, Tommy Hilfiger)
- BACK TO SCHOOL GIFT CARD PROMO – 8/1/2019 – 8/31/2019 Check in at Guest Services prior to your shopping trip and purchase a $150 (or more) American Express Simon Gift Card and receive a free $25 retailer gift card!! (Retailers that can be selected for the $25 gift card: Converse, Gap Factory, Disney’s Character Warehouse, Tommy Hilfiger, H&M)
My last tip:
We all know shopping with kids isn’t our top choice of things to do so, save yourself time and stress later by stocking up on essentials for later in the year! Things like school supplies that need replenishing or Fall and Winter clothes that are included in sales right now that you can get tax-free are great to stock up on NOW!