TRURO - Matthew Gillis runs his fingers over the brightly coloured binders and backpacks and smiles.
"I'm excited to see my friends ... and I like science and insect studies," said the eight-year-old from Brookfield.
The Brookfield Elementary School student is going into Grade 3 next week and was shopping for school supplies with his mom Michelle and younger sister Emily yesterday at Wal-Mart.
"I like looking at all the neat stuff. It's OK to go back to school (but) I don't like social studies."
One thing Matthew's mom doesn't appreciate about the beginning of another school year is the shopping.
"I don't look forward to it. It's time consuming and expensive. I spend more every year," she said. "I spent $75 for two children and that was things on sale and didn't include clothes, sneakers and backpacks."
And, Gillis said the supply lists always seem to get longer.
"The kids got their supply list when they got report cards in June, which is good, but it was a full list on an 8 X 10 page," she said.
"I get what I have to get and make it work because it's expensive and takes time by the time you go to different stores to look for deals and I started about mid-August."
Barry Fleming, co-manager at Wal-Mart in Truro, expects back-to-school shopping will pick up at the store next week.
"People have been getting things throughout the summer but a lot of people don't get the (supply) lists until after school starts so it will be busy next week," said Fleming.
Meanwhile, a downtown Truro store has been extremely busy with back-to-school shoppers for at least a month.
"We've had an early back-to-school rush," said Mark Hughes, manager of HAF Skate and Tattoo on Arthur Street.
"It started at the beginning of the month (compared to) last year when it was near the end of August that it started to get busy."
Hughes said sneakers and backpacks have been the biggest attractions, including brand names such as Burton, Vans and DC Fox.
He said average back-to-school purchases have been equalling $100 to $300.
Other stores throughout Truro report a mix of back-to-school sales, from "not very good" to "very good."
Chignecto-Central Regional School Board's classes in Colchester County resume Sept. 6.
The following are a few tips for back-to-school shopping:
- Stick to the list. Extra supplies may not be used or could result in going over budget.
- Host a back-to-school swap. Trading toys and books can save a lot of money.
- Make a list and get your child involved.
- Use the recommended or required supplies from your child's school or teacher as a starting point. If you don't have a list yet, check with parents at your school who have older kids.
- Separate wants from needs.
- Sort through last year's supplies to see what is left over or can be reused.
- Buy basics in bulk.
- Be environmentally responsible by buying canvas and cardboard binders instead of plastic, recycled paper, use reusable water bottles and lunch box.