TAMPA - Back to school doesn’t have to break the bank
According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to drop upwards of $87 billion on school supplies in 2012.
Teacher lists appear to be getting longer, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend more money this year. Fall clothes and school supplies showed up in store displays in July which may translate into early mark-downs in the young men’s, juniors and children’s departments.
But the prices won’t hit rock bottom until August. Wait to buy until the sales tax holiday August 3rd to August 5th. Expect retailers to piggy back on the tax break, discounting a list of qualifying items from clothes to computers.
But don’t just settle for the sale. Let the internet and social media make slashing prices more of a time-saver. Some coupon moms list Southernfavors.com, Hip2Save.com, Savingcentswithsense.com and TrueCouponing.com among their go-to sites for deals.
These websites among others pair lists of sale items at your favorite stores with where to find coupons so you can stack the savings on those products to save the most money possible on every item on your list.
This week I went to TrueCouponing.com and clicked on the Publix ad. It includes a long list of school supplies on sale and the location of any applicable coupons such as the Sunday circulars are listed just below each item.
You can also like some of these sites so all of the deals show up in one place, the news feed on your Facebook page.
Smart phone users may want to check out the Geo Coupons App for discount codes on brand specific items. For example if your 8th grader had her eye on an L.L. Bean back pack you could check for a discount code before checking out. Retail Me Not works much the same way.
This week I checked out Bradsdeals.com and typed “back to school” at Retailmenot.com.
Among the finds -- and we verified them with the retailers -- a $15 Staples gift card for $8 and up to 55% percent off Staples school supplies. Apple is offering $300 off a Mac or $50 off an I pad purchase. I spotted $5 a month off T-Mobile phone plans, and there were coupon codes for The Children’s Place, Macy’s and Tilly's clothing store.
Another good site is eBates. They allow you to earn money back on all your online purchases. And don’t forget to register all credit and debit cards with Upromise and earn money towards college later!
There are dozens of methods to cutting costs when shopping for the basics none of which needs to take up too much of your time. There is no need to pour over coupon inserts and sales flyers when money-saving information is a few keystrokes away.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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