Back-to-school shopping spree: How the tightwads do it

I used to love Back-to-School shopping. When I was a kid, my mom would haul out the Sears catalog and let me pick out a few new dresses and a pair of new shoes. It was like Christmas in Autumn. These days, however, as a mom of two grade-school kids, I don't view the season with such delight. Why? Back-to-School shopping is often a budget-buster for those of us living on a shoe-string.

I'm not the only one who feels this way. Retailers around the country are bracing for what they think will be the worst Back-to-School shopping season of the decade. A recent survey by Deloitte shows that 70% of households surveyed indicated that they would be spending much less this season, and nearly half said they'd try to cut back on the back-to-school budget by at least $100.

The good news is, retailers are bending over backwards for the parent dollar, running promotions, two-for-one deals and sales at certain times of the day.