Summer will soon draw to a close, and kids will be back on the school bus and in class in just a few short weeks. This year, families with school-age children are expecting to pay an average of $634.78 on back-to-school items ranging from apparel to electronics, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2013 Back-to-School Survey, which was conducted by Insights & Analytics. However, you can reduce that number by being persistent about hunting for a deal.
1. Shop ahead. Take advantage of back-to-school clearance sales and purchase items your kids will need next school year.
2. Have a swap party. Gather a group of parents for a fun party where you swap school supplies that you no longer need or have never used. It’s a great way to catch up with friends while saving money.
3. Use technology. One app worth checking out is Zoomingo, which helps you find deals in local stores. Zoomingo recently added a “back to school” and “back to college” section. The sales are organized by store and include retailers such as Macy’s, Target, and Staples.
4. Make a list. Write down—and stick to—a list of items your children will need for school. This will curb overspending.