This Morning: Saving on back to school shopping

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The first day of school is fast approaching and that means back to school shopping.. but should you wait to buy or hit up the deals now?

It’s back to class for mid-Michigan students but before stepping foot off the bus, backpacks need to be filled with the required supplies.

“Back to school shopping is a big deal financially for families. The National Retail Federation says this year it will be record breaking,” says Meegan Holland, with the Michigan Retailers Association.

Holland says this year the NRF reports families with elementary or high school students will spend an average of $696.70.

That’s up from last year and for college students it can be even pricier, $976.78.

“A lot of that is because consumer confidence, the economy has been good for so long that expendable income is there right now,” says Holland.

The NRF reports more than half of all shoppers haven’t bought their child’s supplies yet because they’re waiting for the best deals.

So when exactly is the best time to buy?

“The competition is stiff. Stores are trying to get you through their doors. So you’ll find deals in August. But if you can wait until September, you’ll find more on clearance. Backpacks, lunch kits, organizers but the pickings will be pretty slim at that point,” says Holland.

Holland says whenever you choose to buy, you can’t go wrong.

However there are a few ways to save money.

“Check your inventory before you even go. You may have bought something last year for one of your older children that now your younger child can use,” says Holland.

More tips:

-Set a budget

-Make a plan before you shop

-Compare prices from different stores

-Use coupons

Holland urges people to shop local when they can by physically going into a store rather than buying online.

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