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August 9, 2013

Cool savings for back-to-school

Back-to-school time is upon us once again. Each year, readers ask for my best back-to-school savings tips, and each year I’m more than happy to provide them. Here are a few of my favorites:

School Supplies

Stagger your purchases and buy only loss leaders. Each week, look at your area stores’ ads for the best, lowest-priced deals. I’m talking about 25-cent school glue, rulers for a penny, 10-cent spiral notebooks and the like. I’ll buy only these loss leaders from the stores, and then wait for another set of sales next the week.

I’m usually able to complete the majority of my children’s lists with this method, buying just the “cheapies!” Then, a few days before the kids are due to go back to school I’ll purchase the remaining items on their lists – the ones that may not have gone on sale.

Don’t be tempted to purchase the pre-packaged kit of supplies from your school, as you’ll be grossly overpaying for your child’s basic school supplies.

Clothing

Yes, your children would probably love to have a new outfit for the first day of school, and I’m all for letting them pick out something that’s in your price range. I like stores that offer clothing at a significant discount, like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Ross Dress for Less. These stores can often offer better prices on the same brands and styles as competing department stores carry, as they purchase overstock clothing and shoes directly from manufacturers, then pass the savings on to you.

I’d hesitate to purchase an entire wardrobe right now, however, as we’re also just a few weeks away from Labor Day sales, when prices will take another drop.

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