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It's Back-To-School Savings Time!

This article, entitled It's Back-To-School Savings Time! comes from

We’re not quite at the end of summer, but retailers are hoping you are already thinking about sending the kids back to school.

While it may be hard to imagine packing lunches and doing the early morning drill, now is the time to go shopping if you really want to save..

Back to school shopping trends

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers were expected to spend $83.8 billion on back-to-school and back-to-college supplies in 2012. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $470 billion we spend on Christmas, but it is still enough to land the back-to-school season in the number two spot as far as seasonal spending goes.

To put it into perspective, the NRF estimates we spend more to go back to school than we do on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and Valentine’s Day combined.

The federation reports more people are turning to online shopping, but retail stores continue to be the most popular option for the majority of families. In a 2012 survey, shoppers said they planned to purchase their supplies at the following places.

  • Discount stores: 67 percent

  • Department stores: 60 percent

  • Clothing stores: 52 percent

  • Office supplies stores: 42 percent

  • Online: 40 percent

Clothing and accessories make up the biggest piece of the back-to-school spending pie, but electronics, shoes and school supplies are also major expense categories for many families.

How to save on back-to-school shopping

All these back-to-school statistics boil down to an average of $690 per family being spent on K-12 school supplies last year. If that number seems like too much for your budget, you are not alone. Survey company BIGinsight found 77 percent of families with school age children say the economy will impact their spending.

Even if you don’t need to save money, it never hurts to keep more of your hard earned cash in your pocket, right? To save on your back-to-school shopping, try out these strategies.

  • Shop with a list – Some schools are back-to-school superstars in that they pass out the school supply list at the end of the previous year. If your school doesn’t publish a list until August, you can likely pull together a best guess based upon what you sent in the previous year. For other items such as clothes and accessories, inventory what you have on hand (that fits!) and plan accordingly from there.

  • Shop NOW! – The next few weeks will be primetime for supplies such as pencils, crayons, paper, notebooks, binders and more. I know it’s no fun to be thinking about school while you are on vacation, but the best savings traditionally happen early in the shopping season. Once school starts, you may be able to find deeply discounted lunchboxes and other supplies but you risk missing out on what you need by waiting that long.

  • Shop with coupons or rewards – The major office supply stores – Staples, OfficeMax and Office Depot – all have rewards programs that let you earn rebates or get additional savings year round. In addition, some retailers offer seasonal promotions. For example, buy a Back-to-School Savings Pass from Staples for $10 and get 15 percent off school supplies, batteries, cleaning supplies and more until September 21, 2013. Spend more than $70 on supplies and the pass pays for itself.

  • Shop second hand – Clothing can take the biggest bite out of your budget, but there are plenty of ways for your teens and tweens to be fashionable for less. If they protest at the idea of buying from a thrift shop or garage sale, head to a consignment store. You’ll pay a little more, but in exchange, your kids can get like new clothes from some of the hottest brands. If you don’t have a consignment shop nearby, look for online options such as ThredUp or, for the younger set, SeamsKarmic.

It may be 90 degrees out, but now is the time to pick up some cool savings in the back-to-school aisle.

The best couponers save hundreds of dollars every month at the grocery store. However, extreme couponers can end up living very extreme lifestyles to get those savings. For over five years, has equalized the playing field – giving extreme savings to busy families who don’t have the time or ability to be an extreme couponer. Each week,’s over 70 angels combine over 2,000 products on sale at local grocery and drug stores with an enormous database of over 2000 different manufacturer coupons. These combinations result in our members getting access to over 300 products each week for 50% off or better. Simply log in, choose the deals you want, print or clip only the coupons you need, and save hundreds of dollars a month at regional and national stores. Our angels will personally work with you to craft a plan that will help you buy healthier food at lower prices – helping you keep $200 to $400 in savings each month.

Josh Elledge is the Chief Executive “Angel” of SavingsAngel, Inc. – launched from his home in January 2007. A husband and father of three, he now appears each week on television, in eight newspapers, and a number of radio stations across the country teaching families how to cut their grocery bill in half using the Internet. Elledge created the technology found on through the need to save his own family’s money. Successfully able to cut his own grocery bill from $600 a month to less than $300 a month, his message has reached hundreds of thousands of families. is now growing rapidly throughout the country. You can watch a short video at that will explain more information about how to cut your own grocery bill in half with the help of!

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