The back to school countdown is on! If you've been savoring the last sips of summer and still have lists to check off, we're here to help.
According to the National Retail Federation, families with children in elementary school through high school are expected to spend an average of $696.70 - a record setting amount.
If your kid is going to college, that number jumps to $976.78.
Most of that, they say, will be spent on clothes, shoes and electronics. So, how do we shave down the cost?
Our friends at NerdWallet have some tips.
First, they say it's important to remember that you don't need it all on Day one.
So, here's the strategy they recommend: Take advantage of the back-to-school and Labor Day sales to grab the big bargains on the items you need now, and then wait a few weeks into September to get the rest.
Keep an eye on those clearance racks!
For big ticket items, always comparison shop. There are tons of apps and websites like Bizrate and ShopSavvy that do the work for you.
Next, get paid for your purchases with apps like Rakuten, Ibotta and Raise. You get cash back for all of your purchases.
When you do see a big sale, stock up. School supplies, for instance, always need to be replenished mid-year. If the sales are good on clothing or shoes, also buy your kids the next size.
Being prepared also saves time and, as we know, time is money.
Finally, if you tend to lose receipts or get annoyed holding onto so much paper, apps like Receipt Hog and ReceiptPal not only store them for you, but they reward you for your purchases.
What's the Deal: Back to school savings tips
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