Back-To-School Has Arrived And We’ve Compiled The Best Shopping Tips

It’s August. No, not August 1. It’s almost mid-August. Back-to-School sales are kicking into high gear, and if you want to be equipped with purchase-power, you need to spend a little time gathering some tips.

We’ve scoured the interwebs and have compiled a list of great Back-to-School shopping secrets that will help you along.

Our first stop is Dallas, with the CBS 11 I-Team, who put together a group of professionals to develop a list of seven awesome tips.

Meet the professionals:

Ginger Allen – CBS 11 I-Team Senior Investigative Reporter
Mrs. Scruggs – Teacher
Mrs. Scoville – Teacher
Kyle James – Consumer Guru at Rather-Be-Shopping.com

Among the group’s list of seven suggestions is ASK RETAILERS TO PRICE MATCH COMPETITORS. In their money-saving endeavors, they asked for price matches at Walmart, Target, and Staples, and were successful. This experience supports another tip from the group: DO NOT SHOP IN ONE PLACE.

But the group didn’t just make money-saving suggestions. One of their best tips (in my humble and somewhat qualified opinion as a dad of three school-aged kids whose wife leads the shopping charge but is generally inclusive) is TAKE THE KIDS WITH YOU.

James warns you will end up spending more money when the kids come along and Scruggs and Scoville admit that he’s probably right. But for kids, the whole Back-to-School shopping experience tends to live in the wheelhouse of Christmas and Birthday when it comes to excitement. The opportunity to spend this time as a family really is one to be treasured.

With that being said, the National Retail Federation advises that Back-to-School spending is expected to be higher this year.

Research compiled by the National Retail Federation shows that more families will wait to go Back-to-School shopping for the specific purpose of obtaining better deals. Twenty-five percent of families will wait until the week before or two weeks before the first day of school to go shopping, up from 21 percent last year.

Hunting or waiting for deals will be more critical this year, since the average expense for supplies per family is expected to hit $101, up from $91 last year. But that’s not all. The average expense for electronics per family is expected to hit $212, up from $199 last year. The total per-family average expense is expected to be $669.28.

These figures represent expenditures for high school-aged kids. College kids are expected to spend 20 percent more on electronics than last year and 19 percent more on supplies. These represent the highest amounts since 2009, according to the National Retail Federation.

Fox Business adds to the list of shopping tips with — probably — the best tip of them all: MAKE A BUDGET.

But, like the group assembled by the CBS 11 I-Team, Fox Business says shop around. That includes shopping online, where the National Retail Federation says 49 percent of college students will use their mobile device to make at least one Back-to-School purchase, and a full 70 percent of college students will use their mobile device to research a Back-to-School purchase.

Bringing family fun and Back-to-School budgeting together, the Rapid City Journal answers the question of how to make the experience meaningful, whether you start right now or get started the week before class is in session.

[Image: Chandler Christian Academy]