School starts here in three weeks, and the back-to-school advertising blitz is in full force. My neighborhood big-box retailer has long since converted its seasonal section into a smorgasbord of spiral notebooks.
In Georgia, we mark the occasion with a sales tax holiday about a week before classes start. Stressed-out parents and fussy kids crowd the stores, under pressure to get everything on their lists before time runs out. It's a lot like the mall a week before Christmas.
One year, I braved the outlet malls during the sales tax holiday. Around the millionth time I was elbowed by a stranger in a shoe store, I vowed never to do it again. When I pick up school supplies for a donation drive this year, I'll make an early morning trip to the office supply store to avoid the crowds.
What's your shopping strategy? Do you hit the big sales, or do you stay home and buy everything online? Wait till the last minute to load up on filler paper or maintain a constant stockpile of No. 2 pencils?