Back to School Guide: School supplies on a budget

August 6, 2013 2:38:57 PM PDT
Back-to-school shopping is the second-biggest spending spree of the year, and the average parent with kids in grades K through 12 will spend just shy of $689 on supplies, clothing and electronics for the new school year.

But you don't need to fork over nearly that much. Check out the following money-saving strategies.

First, gather supplies you already have. Sort through the stuff left over from last year. Chances are good that you will find ruled paper, spiral notebooks, plastic rulers and No. 2 pencils that were never used.

Next, stick to the list.

If you haven't received a list of required supplies from your children's school, check the school's website. Nearby stores often have copies, too. Then, do not buy anything that is not on the list.

Also, join rewards programs. Supermarket and drugstore rewards programs like A&P's My Rewards" and CVS' Extra Care are free to join and give you immediate discounts.

Lastly, work the web. Nearly 40 percent of parents will turn to the internet for back-to-school shopping this year, and with good reason. Retailers offer many of the same deals on their websites that they do at their stores. There are often web-only specials as well.

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