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10 ways to save on school shopping

Published: Friday, July 12, 2013 11:26 a.m. CDT

Summer goes by quickly — just like the money in consumer’s wallets once back-to-school shopping begins.

July kicks off the second busiest shopping season of the year with the average family spending almost $700 on school-related items. Most parents are eager to find ways to cut back. Here are 10 ways to save money on back-to-school shopping from the experts:

1. Reuse and repurpose supplies — Print the list and see what you already have on hand.

2. Set a budget and make a list — Before you shop, sit down with your kids to set a budget and make a list.

3. Clip coupons with the kids — Sale items matched with coupons save the most money.

4. Shop during tax-free days — August is the most popular month for states to offer tax-free shopping.

5. Find consignment sales — Consignment sales offer a great way to save money on kids’ clothes.

6. Host a clothing swap — Set up a time to meet, bring outgrown clothes and start swapping.

7. Remember thrift shops — The merchandise rotates frequently.

8. Don’t skip big-name stores — Some stores let you bring in the receipt to collect the difference. 

9. Create a shopping team and buy in bulk — Get together with other parents to create a back-to-school shopping team.

10. Wait to buy — If your kid is begging for that absolutely-can’t-live-without item and it’s not within your budget, wait a few weeks.