3 Smart Back-to-School Shopping Tips

Back-to-school supplies
Before doing back-to-school shopping, take inventory of what your child already has. (Adobe Stock)

As the new school year begins many panic-stricken parents are trying to find ways to satiate their kids' cravings for the newest, most-expensive brand name clothes and accessories. The average family with school-aged children spends close to $600 on back-to-school purchases annually, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

But for some families, spending a lot of money on their kids for school is not an option. More parents are on the hunt for good bargains and sales. NRF reports that 73% of parents will head to discount stores instead of department stores for their back-to-school purchases.

To help parents save a few bucks on back-to-school items, Consumer Reports.com suggests these money-saving shopping tips:

  1. Stall with summer-sale items. It's likely to still be warm outside when school starts, so kids can still wear summer clothes. Stalling not only gives kids a chance to tune into fall clothing trends and to find the styles they really want, it buys time for parents to take advantage of Labor Day and Columbus Day, sales in addition to other money-saving opportunities.
  2. Don't stock up. Before shopping, take inventory of the closet and determine what still fits and what doesn't. This way parents won't buy any duplicates or clothes kids may grow out of in six months. Additionally, resist the temptation to stockpile on new clothes. Consumer Reports advises that parents buy one or two pieces in their kids' sizes, and then plan to go shopping again during the holidays when the next growth spurt hits.
  3. Arm yourself with coupons. Before hitting all of the favorite stores, check for coupons or online coupon codes on websites such as Military.com's Discount Center or Couponcabin.com. What's more, major retailers such as The Children's Place, Limited Too, Gymboree, Sears, Target, Macy's, Old Navy and Gap Kid's, offer coupons that can save parents at least 10% to 50% off the total bill.
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