We know, we know, it's not August yet, but before you know it, kids around the country will be gearing up for yet another school year. Some parents are welcoming the start of the school year with open arms, while others are dreading all the hecticness -- and priciness -- it brings.
According to RetailMeNot, parents are planning on spending an average of $507 during the three-month back-to-school period on everything from clothes to electronics to supplies. This number is significantly more than the $465 average in 2018.
However, there are ways to prepare your children with the necessities while also saving big during the back-to-school season. We chatted with Sara Skirboll, the shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot, on what to buy, where to save and when you should actually start your back-to-school shopping.
Save money back-to-school shopping
Save money back-to-school shopping
The back-to-school season is right around the corner! We chatted with Sara Skirboll, Shopping & Trends Expert at RetailMeNot, on what to buy and her budget-friendly shopping tips! Keep reading to find out more!
Make a list and stick to it!
"The long list of needs that teachers ask their students to bring is daunting enough, so make sure you stick to the needs and less on the wants."
Hold off on the trendiest items
"Back-to-school shopping can be exciting for kids and they may be drawn to the most trendy items they see. Hold off on that lunchbox or pencil case in a certain theme or design, because once they start school and see what other students have, they might change their mind. "
Take advantage of Sales Tax Holiday/Weekends
"Towards the end of summer, many states have sales tax holiday where shoppers can buy items without paying the sales tax. Check to see if your state offers it and when and stock up on the back to school essentials like clothing, electronics and all forms of school supplies then."
Buy the basics in bulk
"When the school year starts, kids can really go through the essentials like paper, pencils, glue sticks and notebooks. Not to mention, adults use all of these items as well more often than not. When supplies get low throughout the year, make sure to buy these items in bulk for the best deal."
Like and follow stores and retailers on social media
"Follow your favorite brands and retailers on social media and sign up for their email newsletters. It is a great way for shoppers to stay in the know about the latest and greatest deals and savings."
"Most parents will have to buy some sort of bigger price tag items like a laptop or tablet. Be sure to price compare at different retailers to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck."
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"I recommend taking advantage of end of summer sales to score deals on clothes and shoppers should also expect to see school supplies discounted in the weeks leading up to the new school year," explained Skirboll to AOL Lifestyle.
And while some parents have already begrudgingly started browsing their local office supply stores for school supplies, Skirboll recommends that the best time to purchase is in August.
"If you are in need of a new laptop or computer this back to school season, make sure to shop in August to find a great deal. This is because computer models are released in June so by August, retailers are looking to make room for the latest inventory," she explained.
She continued, "August is the time to stock up on pens, paper, folders and more. Shoppers can find major back-to-school discounts at retailers like Office Depot, OfficeMax and Staples."
Check out more of her dollar-stretching tips in the slideshow above!