10 back to school savings tips

Back to school shopping is unavoidable, and your shopping list can quickly grow out of control. Luckily, Kasey Trenum, blogger at Time2saveworkshops.com and DealPro for Savings.com, has offered a few simple tips to help you get everything on your kids back to school list for less. – Twinkle VanWinkle, LIN Lifestyle Expert

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Take Stock: Before you go back to school shopping make sure to shop at home.  You may find crayons, pens and pencils stashed away.

Think Outside the Box:  National office supply stores, national drug stores, Toys R Us and Best Buy are great places to get school supplies for super cheap or FREE.  Yes, free.  Check out their weekly ad in your Sunday newspaper; you’ll see great deals for items that happen to be on your supply list.

Discover mobile apps: Use money saving smartphone apps like ShopKick, Plink, and Valpak which offer savings right at your fingertips. Compare in-store prices, reveal the best deals, or find online coupons with these easy to use apps.

Personalize: Buy your kids plain notebooks and let them decorate them at home. This makes for a great rainy day activity and will get your kids excited for the school year.

Utilize coupons: Each summer, coupons for back to school supplies become available. Companies like Expo and Bic tend to offer manufacture coupons. And, never make a purchase before searching sites like Savings.com for a coupon code.

Take Advantage of Tax Breaks: Simple, but true!  If your state participates in tax free back to school shopping, don’t miss out!  Search online to find out if/when your state is participating.

Get social: Facebook and Twitter are for more than just connecting – you can also discover exclusive deals. ‘Like’ and Follow office supply brands on Facebook and Twitter for exclusive deals. Use Twitter to search for #deal, #save, or #coupon and you’ll see a flood of thrifty tweets. If you don’t feel like searching yourself, you can tweet @ValpakCoupons or @Savings, include hashtag #HelpMeSave and mention what you’re trying to save on. You’ll receive a coupon in return to jumpstart your Back-to-School savings efforts.

Children’s Consignment Sales: You can get fabulous discounts on quality clothing at children’s consignment sales.  You can search online for sales in your area at www.kidsconsignmentsales.com

Use Cash Back Sites: If you shop online and aren’t using a cash back site like Ebates.com you are missing out on Free Cash!  It’s super easy to use!  Just log in to Ebates.com, find your favorite store, and start shopping.  With every purchase you will earn back a percentage of your total purchase amount (between one percent and 40 percent depending on the store).

After School Activities: Once school does roll around keep your kids entertained after school for less. If looking for local deals on family-friendly activities, food and entertainment, check your weekly Valpak envelope or download their new app. Also search for free activities online. PBS Kids offers printable coloring pages, videos, music and games.

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Kasey Trenum blogger at Time2saveworkshops.com and DealPro for Savings.com, started couponing out of financial necessity in 2008. Within in a few months she was able to reduce her family’s weekly grocery bill dramatically. You can read more about Kasey’s journey in her recently released book, “Couponing for the Rest of Us.”

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