As kids prepare to go back to school, parents are tasked with providing all the supplies and clothes they’ll need for the year. Here are The Onion’s tips for tackling back-to-school shopping.

Start early to help your child understand that summer vacation is but a fleeting moment of relaxation in a life that will be otherwise filled with responsibilities


Don’t go back-to-school shopping on an empty stomach as you may end up buying extra rulers to snack on that you don’t actually want or need

Anything other than Mead is social suicide

Have a candid discussion with your child about how hard they think they’ll try this year and adjust your shopping list accordingly


Drain back-to-school time of what little excitement it has for your kids by using old binders and leftover paper you already own

Many schools provide a list of supplies kids need so you can get an idea of what will be sold out when you get to Staples


Buy a few binder sizes up so they have something to grow into

Used clothing and hand-me-downs from older siblings help ensure that your child will not be distracted from their schoolwork by friends or social events


If you’re on a tight budget, use Craigslist to find cheap, lightly-used glue sticks

Encourage your kids not to lose their supplies by telling them their new pencil case contains the soul of their dead grandmother


Just look at what Dakota’s parents are buying this year