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Back to School Savings Tips

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It’s that time of year when children and parents everywhere are starting their back-to-school shopping. After the holiday season, it’s the busiest time of the year for retailers. The National Retail Federation reports the average spending on back-to-school supplies has grown 42 percent in the past 10 years.

If you’re a hosuehold that is looking to cut back on your back-to-school bill this year, here are some tips to help you shop smarter:

When shopping for clothes, stick to the sales. Many of the clothes you find at end-of-summer sales can be worn well into the autumn months. Consignment sales are another way to pick up great threads at a discount. To find a list of sales near you, check out

Use mobile apps to get an upper hand on deals. Download an app that lets you scan an item’s barcode to compare prices in nearby retailers. Red Laser is a popular app that lets you make quick price comparisons and find deals and coupons for retailers. Scan Life has an added feature that lets you share prices with fellow app users and you can see prices other scanners are finding in a live feed.

Before you hit the stores, go through your kids’ clothes and supplies to see what can be reused. Kids are always eager to get the latest style of jeans or backpack before heading back to school. But if last year’s jeans still fit great and they have a package of unused pencils, it can be a big money saver to avoiding buying new ones. Also, when buying clothes you may want to try to avoid fads that could quickly go out of style and stick to staples that stand the test of time.

Encourage your kids to personalize plain supplies. That notebook with a trendy design your kid is asking for is often twice the price of a plain one. Opt for the plain supplies and give your kids stickers or markers so they can add a unique personal flair to those items.

Do you have some other tips for saving on back-to-school shopping? Share them here.

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Linda Stauffer

As a retired teacher at the middle school level, get just some of the basics. Also if the school sells a packet, consider that. Then, wait until school starts and see if specific teachers have a supply list for that class. Of course everyone needs paper, pencils, etc. so get those at the cheap price, but make sure you are getting exactly what you need. My former school was an AVID school, and they sold a binder with ALL of the required items for around 18 dollars. The only things parents need beyond that was to replenish paper and pencils.

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