How to save money on back to school supplies

Q: How can I save on back to school items? 

A: Pencils, paper, glue sticks, crayons, back packs, new clothes, and school uniforms team up to make back to school shopping the second largest shopping season of the year after the Christmas holidays. The list never seems to end. It starts with the "needs," move to the "must haves" and ends on all the shiny new "wants" your child begs for in every store.
 
Yeah, I'm not ready for it either. But the truth is, the first day of school will be here before we know it. Here are eight tips for back to school savings.
 
School Supplies:
 
1. Take Stock: Shop at home. You may find crayons, pens and pencils stashed away. Out of sight, out of mind.
 
2. Think Outside the Box: National office supply stores, national drug stores, Toys R Us, and Best Buy are great places to get school supplies for super cheap or FREE. Yes, free. Check out the weekly ads in your Sunday newspaper; you'll see great deals for items on your supply list.
 
3. School Clothes, Gear and Electronics: Use Cash Back Sites. If you shop online and aren't using a cash back site such as Ebates or ShopAtHome, you are missing out on free cash. It's easy to use. Just log in to Ebates or ShopAtHome, find your favorite store, and start shopping. With every purchase you earn back a percentage of your spending, between 1 percent and 40 percent depending on the store.
 
4. Sign up for the sales. Follow your favorite stores on Facebook and twitter for exclusive coupons and pre-sale alerts. Then, stack your savings by combining sales with coupons to get the best price.
 
5. Sunday Circular's. Scour your Sunday circulars for early-bird sales, exclusive coupons and sale alerts at your favorite stores.
 
6. Children's Consignment Sales. You can get fabulous discounts on quality clothing at children's consignment sales. You can search online for sales in your area at www.kidsconsignmentsales.com.
 
7. Take Advantage of Tax Breaks. If your state participates in tax free back to school shopping, don't miss out. Search online to find out if and when your state is participating. It's up to you to be in the know.
 
8. Put your apps to work. Let your Smartphone or tablet do the work for you. Check out these apps: 
 
Fastmall
 
Shopsavvy
 
Redlaser
 
Sherpa
 
Shopkick
 
Back to school comes around year after year. You can't stop it, but you can send your kids back in style for a fraction of the price.
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