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Posted: 10:11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013

5 simple back-to-school shopping tips



By Susan Yoo-Lee

ClarkHoward.com


Folks … it’s that time of the year again.  It’s time to get up off of those nice relaxing loungers and start looking at every sale ad that comes your way. With school starting in only a few weeks, the Back-to-School sales are getting better and better every day.

If you’re an avid couponer, sale section connoisseur, clearance basket pro, you’ve got this one in the bag. But what about those of us, the majority, that have been sitting by the poolside in Back-to-School denial?

Let’s just say there is hope for us too! With these 5 simple Back-to-School shopping tips, you’ll save money, time and energy:

  1. Coupons.  A no brainer, right? Well, with all the extra discounts you could get on top of sale prices, you would think people would have their coupons handy.  A lot of people either forget to enter their coupon codes online or forget to take their printable coupons with them to the store.  Currently, Old Navy is having an awesome sale and with all the Old Navy coupons available, you could save even more.  Make sure you have those coupons on hand!
  2. Comparison Shopping. You heard that correctly. We are so fortunate to have the consumer power to look up prices online or even compare sale ads between local competitors and big box retailers. While a sale might look good at one store, you may have a competitor who is willing to beat that low price. Even better, go to a store like Best Buy and they will match competitor prices including Amazon. I’ve saved a fortune just putting this tip into action and you can too!
  3. Dollar Stores. Yes, they are my newest besties. Yes, you can get crayons, pens and pencils for almost nothing at stores like Toys R Us, Target and Staples, but at dollar stores you can get that and then some. They carry a good amount of school supply items for…wait for it…a dollar! And if you’re a last minute shopper, this would be the perfect place to shop and remember the Dollar Tree also takes manufacturer coupons, so you can slash those prices even further.
  4. Follow Coupon Bloggers. If you’re new to couponing and matching coupons with sale prices to take the prices down deeper, look no further, coupon and deal bloggers do all the hard work for you. They tell you which coupons to use, what stores to go to and they even show you the exact price breakdown. They do the work and you reap the rewards!
  5. Teamwork. If you have a group of friends that would like to save some money during Back-to-School shopping, get them together. Start by assigning a store or 2 to each person, then creating a list of what you’re going to buy at each store, clip those coupons and now you’ve cut your shopping time in half!

With these 5 tips, you will save money, time and energy during your Back-to-School shopping trips. Now get back to laying on your nice lounger and relax!

Susan Yoo-Lee is the editor of Savings.com personal finance blog and founder of Mommas in the House blog.  When she’s not busy with her Chef husband and 2 daughters, she’s most likely coming up with the next best juicing recipe.