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Monday, July 4, 2022

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Back to School on a Dime

Back to school doesn’t have to break the bank.

Now that my youngest is headed to kindergarten and my daughter is starting third grade, I, like many parents, have two lengthy supply lists to fulfill in the coming weeks.

According to the National Retail Federation consumers are expected to drop $87 billion on school supplies in 2012!

Teacher lists appear to be getting longer but that doesn’t mean you need to spend more money this year. Fall clothes, school supplies and backpacks showed up in store displays in July, which may translate into early mark downs in the young men’s, juniors and children’s departments. But the prices won’t hit rock bottom until August. This is the time to buy. Consider shopping during the state’s sales tax holiday, Aug. 3-5. Expect retailers to piggy back on the tax break discounting qualifying items from clothes to computers.

Saving money on school supplies

And the Internet and social media make finding deals even easier. Some coupon moms list,, and among their go to sites for deals. These websites pair lists of sale items at your favorite stores. They also guide you to coupons so you can save the most money possible on every item on your list.

I recently went to and pulled up the Publix ad. It includes a list of school supplies on sale, and the location of any applicable coupons, such as in the Sunday circulars, is listed just below each item.

You also can “like” some of these sites so all of the deals show up in the news feed on your Facebook page. How simple is that! Let’s keep each other posted on the best deals! Moms united to save money!

If you have a smartphone, check out the Geo Coupons App for discount codes on brand specific items. For example, if your eighth grader has her eye on an L.L. Bean backpack, you could check for a discount code before checking out. Retail Me Not,, works much the same way.

I checked out and typed “back to school” at We verified the finds with retailers, they included:

• $15 Staples gift card for $8

• Up to 55% percent off Staples school supplies

• Apple is offering $300 off a Mac or $50 off an iPad purchase

• $5 a month off T-Mobile phone plans

There were also coupon codes for The Children’s Place, Macy’s and Tilly’s clothing stores. Another good site is eBates. They allow you to earn money back on all your online purchases. And don’t forget to register all credit and debit cards with Upromise and earn money toward college!

There are dozens of methods to cutting costs when shopping for the basics, none of which needs to take up too much of your time. There is no need to scour coupon inserts and sales flyers when money saving information is just a few key strokes away. Good luck with this year’s back to school shopping and take the precious time to enjoy the last weeks of summer with your kids!

Jackie Callaway is on the investigative team of ABC Action News. The Emmy award winning journalist has been the Consumer Investigator at WFTS TV ABC Action News since 2003.


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