The average family spends about $700 on back-to-school shopping, but there are some ways to save money.
Before filling up your basket with brand-new school supplies, shopping expert Janice Lieberman says start by shopping at home.
"Take inventory of what's in their drawers and in last year's backpack, possibly they used two pages of a notebook, just rip them out reuse them," Lieberman said. "You can use last year's crayons and resharpen the pencils."
You can also save by pooling resources -- buy in bulk and split with other parents. At Wards 5 and 10 in Closter they fill boxes with local school supply lists and pass the savings on to parents.
"They've broken it down for you, given you exactly what you need and not charged you extra," Lieberman said.
When buying backpacks, this is where you can spend what you save. Splurge on a well-made bag that won't fall apart in the wash.
Where you can skimp is on cheaper supplies. Consumer expert Andrea Woroch did her homework.
"You're looking at saving anywhere from 20-30 percent between generic and name-brand options," Woroch said. "So take a look at the Staples store-brand notebook, the college ruled notebook is $5 on sale compared to the popular 5 Star notebook -- they're $6 so that's a $1 savings right there."
Woroch also warns printer ink is a budget buster -- here's her inside hack:
"A lot of people don't realize you can actually purchase re-manufactured ink cartridges at a major savings, you're looking at 50 -70 percent off regular retail prices," Woroch said. "Go to sites like inkgrabber.com to enter in the model printer that you have and they'll show you the different options."
Stores like Staples and Best Buy guarantee a Price Beat so make sure you research promo codes and coupons before buying big ticket items and always negotiate.
"See if they could throw in any kind of accessories as as freebie, I've had success getting a free remote -- its always worth asking, it doesn't hurt!"
Lastly, Woroch reminds don't forget to ask for Student and Teacher Discounts: Show your ID or current student email and get up to 30 percent off.
Also find savings with refurbished and Open Box Deals she says offer up to 50 percent or more off new retail prices -- just make sure your refurbished item is certified by the store and comes with some sort of a warranty.
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