How to Embrace Back to School Season

Over the past few months, we’ve discovered a new appreciation for our schools and teachers, especially as we look ahead to back to school season. This time of year always feels like the holidays for many parents and students. While this year likely continues to look and feel different for many students and families, we still believe back to school can (and should!) be celebrated. No matter if you’re prepping to learn virtually from home or return back to the classroom, below are four tips for embracing back to school this year. 

Start Incorporating Learning: 

Depending on where you reside, you’re either days away from returning to school or you have another month filled with summer fun. Either way, one of the best ways to start getting into the school mindset is to ease it back into your everyday routine. Set aside time for your kids to read, switch to an educational game on a computer or iPad, dive into a math game, or complete a science experiment. By welcoming learning back now, students will feel more ready to fully embrace a school schedule in the days and weeks to come.

Create a Schedule: 

The summer is when we all relax our schedules and embrace a go-with-the-flow mindset, but schedules are key during the school year. Take a moment to revisit first grade teacher Mrs. Lamb’s tips from the spring. She and her kids discovered how they can best learn while at home. Mrs. Lamb said sometimes that involves incorporating more focused work during the morning followed by an increased emphasis on play in the afternoon. Start determining how you think your family’s ideal school day will look and feel now. Then give it a try in advance of your official start date.

Shop for School:

We know how much students love shopping for new school supplies, and this year should not be any different even if you’re planning to learn virtually from home. Purchase new folders, notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, tech, and more just like you normally would. This nod to normalcy will feel comfortable, familiar, and exciting to your kids, and we think you will enjoy it too.

Also, consider shopping for back to school clothes! We’ve found it’s best to make a concerted effort to get dressed every day even if we’re working at home, and we think the same is true for kids. Think about shopping for new tops, pants, dresses, and shoes from their favorite stores, like Carter’s, OshKosh B’gosh, GAP, Kohls, Dicks Sporting Goods, and more through your Shopkick app as you embrace the fall season together. You’ll earn kicks, and your kids will keep up with their fun school year style. 

Embrace the School Season:

Just as you did during the spring, now is the time to embrace the school season whether it involves learning from home or returning back to the classroom. The more you and your student lean into learning, the more fun and normal it will become. Many of us are facing the same challenges, so keep this in mind: We’re all learning together, Shopkickers!

How are you and your kids embracing back to school this year? We would love to hear your thoughts on Facebook! 

P.S: For more on our “How to Homeschool” series with Mrs. Lamb, click here!

Top 10 Tech Must-Haves for Back to School

It’s back to school season once again, and I can’t be the only one who feels like we were celebrating Memorial Day and the start of summer yesterday! Even though the summer is starting to come to a close, back to school season always feels like its own holiday. I am not heading back to school this year, but I still wanted to get in the spirit of the season. So, I culled through all of the back to school gear to create a top 10 list of tech must-haves for students, especially for high school and college students. Take a look below, and get ready to shop and save on tech this year!

1. Computer/Laptop:

A computer is a must for students. I have tried a number of different brands from HP to Dell, and I have to admit Apple is my favorite. I cannot recommend my Macbook Pro enough (I have a 13”) because it reboots quickly, runs the Adobe programs I started using while in college, and doesn’t need to be replaced for years.

Where to purchase? Best Buy or

2. Programs:

Although Macbooks come equipped with Apple programs, I’m still a fan of the Microsoft Office suite. You can purchase your cloud access in store. Make sure to look for the option for Microsoft Office Home & Student because there is a savings.

Where to purchase? Best Buy

3. Calculator:

I still remember purchasing my first scientific calculator in middle school, and it felt like a right of passage. It’s not an inexpensive item, so the best thing to do is to shop for one in store at Best Buy or online at The prices will likely be comparable, and you will be able to earn kicks toward a gift card which will feel like receiving cash back!

Where to purchase? Best Buy or 

4. Headphones:

Headphones are a must for all students, and they can easily serve many purposes. They’re great to have on hand during the day while studying in the library, going to the gym in between classes, walking around campus, and catching up on your favorite show without interrupting your roommate at night. Bose and Airpods are a few of my go-to options.

Where to purchase? Best Buy or,,, or 

5. Smart Watch:

I haven’t purchased a smart watch yet, but my friends who are in grad school have said they are complete game changers during the school year! Those who have them say it’s helpful to be able to send quick texts back to friends and family on-the-go without having to pull out their phones, track steps to ensure they’re staying active in between classes, and have quick access to favorite apps. Of course, there are plenty of other benefits, like the most basic one of being able to tell time – a key thing to know while taking a test to ensure you complete the exam!

Where to purchase? Best Buy or,, or

6. Roku TV:

From my experience of purchasing TVs, Roku is definitely the way to go, especially for dorms! Being able to access apps like Hulu, Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube directly from your TV makes streaming even more fun and simple. The value is definitely there, and friends will definitely want to gather in your room or apartment which makes a great TV an investment in meeting others.

Where to purchase? Best Buy Note: Don’t forget to purchase a subscription to Hulu through your Shopkick app because you will earn kicks!

7. Kindle:

As a communications major, I had plenty of assigned reading for all of my classes. However, I still looked forward to reading a book of my choice at the end of the day. I find I complete books more quickly when I read them on my Kindle, and my Kindle is so lightweight which makes me feel encouraged to slip it into a bag while I’m on the go.

Where to purchase? Amazon Devices

8. Smartphone:

A smartphone is a natural choice for a student! Access to all of the typical capabilities of a phone are obvious, but the addition of apps and email at your fingertips is what makes a smartphone a must-have for high school and college students.

Where to purchase? Best Buy Note: While you can purchase a smartphone at many retailers in store and online, the major perk of Best Buy, outside of your ability to earn kicks, is almost every cell phone company has representatives in stores. Purchasing your phone and signing a new contract at the same time makes the process quicker and easier!

9. Backpack:

A great backpack is a must for every student! In every bag I purchase, I always look for a protected compartment for my computer. Look and size are also important, and I’ve always had great luck with Tumi, Jansport, and The North Face. The quality of all three has always been great, and I’ve been able to transition my bags from high school to college and then to my career without fear of looking too young.

Where to purchase?,, or

10. Gaming System:

A gaming system might not be an obvious choice for back to school, but it will provide a fun and quick way to make friends in college! A Nintendo Switch offers a great price point and system size. You will also have the advantage of being able to play classic games like Mario Kart and Super Mario Party. Dorm room floor challenge, anyone?

Where to purchase? Best Buy or

Make sure to shop for your tech with Shopkick, so you can earn kicks to redeem for a free gift card. Join the back to school conversation happening now in our Facebook community!

7 Things Moms Really Need When The Kids Go Back To School

With summer coming to a close and fall kicking into full swing, it’s finally time for the kids to rush off back to school. On one hand, the daily activities, endless pool days and lack of school structure that filled your summertime schedule left you happy to spend time with your kids, but you also may feel much more exhausted than you expected! That is why this back-to-school season is the perfect time for you to find ways to cultivate a little rest and relaxation at home!

Before the school year gets too hectic, use the first couple weeks of back-to-school as a self-care recharge frenzy! You finally have six hours of uninterrupted time to regroup before diving into the demands of the school year and family life. You are (dare I say?) … free. Check out these ideas for things you can easily do to truly wind down, mama! You won’t regret any of them.

1. Stay-at-Home Spa

Create a mini-spa experience at home. It’s so easy to set up a self-care station with manicure and pedicure essentials, skin care, and face masks. Put on your favorite show and relax while your nails dry! No doing dishes for you.

2. Beauty Bath

Not only are bath bombs the most aesthetically pleasing invention ever, but they also make your skin feel amazing. Set up a warm bath with some of your favorite bath bombs and rose petals, and don’t forget to light at least one incredibly scented candle to really set the mood!

3. Sweat It Out

Between summer camp, sports practices, and pool days, you rarely had time to exercise. Use these few hours to get back into a healthy routine whether that means yoga, the gym, or running around the neighborhood. Don’t forget to wear breathable clothes and stock up on your favorite reusable water bottles.

4. Netflix Binge

One more episode of anything on Nickolodean could make you cry at this point, so why not have a binge on your favorite TV shows and movies during the day? It’s only been, what, a year since you last saw a movie you wanted to see? You deserve it!

5. Read A Book

Some of the best moments in life are the smallest moments. Happiness is usually found in between the pages of a really good book. Find your favorite genre and curl up in bed or outside and enjoy the beauty of turning one page at a time.

6. Solo Pool Day

With just a few weeks of warm weather left, you should be rushing to the pool for the most relaxing day yet! Grab your softest beach towel, most comfortable swimsuit, and get ready to snooze in the sun.

7. Take A Nap

Sleep is so important for your body to feel your best physically and mentally. It aids in focus, wellbeing, and your ability to take care of others. Take a guilt-free nap, and wake up refreshed and ready for the afternoon rush when the kids get home!

Whether you loved the back-to-school season rush or felt stressed by the frenzy of it all, it is important to stop and take a moment for yourself. Take a relaxing bath, exercise in new fitness gear or take a much-needed nap! Do things differently and pamper yourself in the few hours you have free before the after-school rush kicks in. You deserve it.

*To see more products and ideas that can help you relax and unwind, check out the Shopkick App! It allows you to shop for products you need and earn points back, called kicks, to redeem gift cards. Happy Shopkicking!

Get your Starbucks fix at home (and earn kicks!)

Did you get your morning fix? If you did, it was only one (or two) of the 400 million cups of coffee Americans drink every day. Many of us can thank Starbucks for providing our morning cup of joe. Whether you’re a Starbucks fanatic or just like their vibe, you can now get kicks for Starbucks!

Earn kicks for Starbucks in stores

Scan and submit receipts to earn kicks for select Starbucks ground coffee and K-Cups in stores like Walmart, Target, and many more. Open the app to find scans near you!


Earn kicks for Starbucks online

You can also find your favorite Starbucks products online through Shopkick and earn kicks with every $1 spent on stores like, Boxed, Jet, and more.

Waking up is easy when you can enjoy your favorite cup of Starbucks coffee in the comfort of your home. With coffee this convenient, you’ll be ready for the day in no time.

Bring your Starbucks fix home with you, and go ahead and treat yourself to that second cup — you’ve earned it!

Don’t have Shopkick yet?

Download it now to start earning a free gift card for the shopping you already do!

Jet launches with Shopkick for easy back to school shopping

Ace back to school shopping while earning free gift cards when you get school supplies from with Shopkick. Now you can earn points (called “kicks”) when you visit or make purchases from Jet through the Shopkick app, and redeem those kicks for free gift cards to Walmart, Sephora, Best Buy and more. That means for every item you check off your kids’ school shopping list, you earn something back for yourself!


What Can I Buy On Jet?

Shop everything from snack food to cat food and beyond. Save on everyday essentials and get free shipping with a $35 purchase. Thousands of items arrive within 2 days and returns are always free. What’s even more rewarding is now you can earn 4 kicks for every $1 you spend at Jet. Make sure you navigate to Jet through Shopkick to get credited for your purchase. New customers get 15% off their first three orders with the code SAVE15 (minimum order $35, max discount $20, ends 9/1/17). Shopping and earning have never been so easy.

Don’t have Shopkick? Download it now and start earning free gift cards. 

Shopkickers love Jet, especially for back to school shopping! Common school supply lists are even broken down by grade level! Easy peasy! Save time and money, and get rewarded when you shop from Jet with Shopkick today.


Awesome supplies you can buy on Jet

Maximize your back to school savings

Back to school shopping lists these days contain a lot more than just boxes of pencils and crayons. There are folders, ear buds, school backpacks and sometimes even laptops that make up the growing list. If you have to shop for more than one child, it can feel like Christmas in August. Back to school shopping is big business and is expected to grow 4% in 2017 compared to 2016 sales. That’s saying a lot because back to school sales set a record last year. Although it is obvious people are spending money, you don’t have to break the bank to get your kids off to school. Knowing some saving tips as well as the best times to buy certain products can make all the difference if you’re hoping to get to the head of the class as a savvy shopper.

Back to School Clothes

Meet my New Bestie, “Clearance”

End of summer sales can be your BFF.

Since many kids go back to school at the end of August when the mercury is still rising, they’re still going to need summer clothes. You can get great deals on clearance racks with end of the season sales. Many of this merchandise starts getting marked down after Fourth of July. This is a great time to stock up for that first month or two of school.

Sales Tax-free Week

Many states have a sales tax-free week during the summer. This is when parents across the country flock to stores to take advantage of buying items like new school shoes, jeans, jackets and any other items. Since each state has different rules, it’s best to check out where your specific state stands so you can get the best deals and stretch your dollar. Many of these tax-free holidays land in late June and August.

Back to School Supplies

Back to school Supplies

Take Stock

These days many teachers will send home a school supplies list the last day of school so students have all summer to get ready.

When you get the list first take stock of what you have at home and what is salvageable from the previous year. You may be surprised to discover how many things you don’t have to buy brand new.

Dollar “Dazed”

Once you know what you do need to buy, take a trip to your favorite dollar store and get dollar dazed by all of the school supplies. You can grab a good sized multi-pack of pencils, pens, erasers, and even crayons for just a buck each. Kids don’t need designer school supplies. As long as they write, get the job done, and don’t cost you a fortune, everyone’s happy. If you still want to hit the big-box stores, experts advise to go in July. There may be deals to be had there because retailers know everyone typically rushes to the store in August and many are not thinking back-to-school shopping while they’re still going to the beach in July.

Backpacks Don’t Need Characters.

Getting a new backpack for the start of the school year is a rite of passage. But, try not to get stuck in the character trap with your kids. According to Money magazine, backpacks, lunch bags and any other school supply with a character’s face are typically 20 to 30 percent more than plain items. If a themed backpack is a must have, experts advise telling your child he or she can decorate the bag with stickers or something else with a character face.


Don’t be embarrassed to price match. There’s nothing shameful about saving money, is there? Quite the contrary; saving money can give you a rush! If a store like Wal-Mart offers a price match policy, take them up on it, even for school supplies.

Timing is Everything

For big ticket items like laptops and notebooks, one of the best times to buy is between the last week of July and the first three weeks of August. Retailers know college-bound students and students even younger will be looking as they do their back to school shopping.

Since back-to-school shopping is often referred to as one of the biggest shopping seasons of the year, set a budget as you would during the holidays. Besides helping you save money, it will also teach your kids the value of a dollar and how to stretch it. Happy shopping and saving! Want to save more while shopping back to school? Download the Shopkick App to earn free gift cards while shopping.