You have to budget during back-to-school season, so we asked RetailMeNot Expert Sara Skirboll for insight on how to save the most.
Q: Do you know how much parents are expected to spend this year on back-to-school supplies?
SARA SKIRBOLL: Back-to-school shopping is about even as it compares to last year. But, what we're finding is that though the number appears to be even, certain categories are going to go up. Clothing, technology, and electronics are going up a bit. Clothing, parents are going to be spending about $185. With technology, parents are going to be spending about $180.
Q: Since we're all about saving money for our viewers, what tips do you have for parents to find the best prices?
SARA SKIRBOLL: I have a few tips when it comes to saving money on back-to-school supplies. Number one, plan and research. Know exactly what is on the supply list from your teacher.
Don't go down the rabbit hole when you're with your kid or by yourself... Make sure you know exactly what your child needs. Number two, always look for a good deal.
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, download the free app and save money everywhere from Office Depot and Office Max to Macy's, Best Buy, Kohls and everything in between. So, if you're looking for clothing, calculators, backpacks or lunch boxes, find a deal and save money. Another tip of mine is to go in with other parents. Go to a big box store like a Costco or a Sam's Club. Pay for things in bulk, and then divide the cost.
So, if your kid needs one highlighter, one pen, and one Sharpie, you don't need the five-pack (for yourself). So, I always go in with a few parents and then split the bill (and supplies) down the middle.
Q: How long are deals going to last?
SARA SKIRBOLL: Back-to-school shopping is starting earlier and earlier, and it's going to last later too. So, if you didn't get your supplies at the beginning of July or with Prime Day, don't fret. Back-to-school deals will still be going on early August, mid-August and even into early September when you'll find some of the best deals on the summer clothes.
Q: What about shopping online versus in the store? Is one better than the other?
SARA SKIRBOLL: Our research shows that 95 percent of shoppers still go in-store to make a purchase. So, in-store shopping is not going away any time soon.