Where to find the best back-to-school deals

Don't Waste Your Money

With schools using technology more than ever in 2014, crayons and binders are no longer on top of school supplies lists.

A Tri-State mommy blogger, Andrea Deckard, took WCPO shopping to show us the newest way to save on what kids need.

On average, a family spends more than $600 per year for back-to-school. That amount does not include a tablet or laptop computer.

Deckard's blog - SavingsLifestyle.com - suggests shopping at more than a single store. For example, she likes Staples for its one-cent sales.

"Every week they always have a few items they advertise that are penny deals," Deckard said. "There's pens, index cards, also erasers."

For other items, she says Staples can be more expensive. So, she prefers Walmart for low prices on basics. She goes to Target for fashion items and she shops online for school uniforms.

"You can typically get better deals online," Deckard said. "Say your kids need uniforms, Lands End has some of the best uniforms available, and they always have amazing sales."

For notebooks, she believes cheaper store brands are fine, especially at office supply stores.

"I am totally fine with the generic items," she said. "The only time I will buy a name brand product is when they have coupons available."

When buying backpacks, avoid the cheap products, as bargain backpacks may not make it until Christmas.

"I'm a big proponent of quality over quantity when it comes to backpacks," Deckard said. "We have used the same backpack going on five years now."

At L.L. Bean, they will replace backpacks for free if they break.

Some students may not need a backpack at all, as carrying small gym sacks instead is a new trend for kids.

Locker organizers may be tempting, but Deckard said to wait before buying until you know how much space your child will get.

"We actually have notices from teachers at our school that ask us, do not bring us this kind of stuff, cause theres no room," she said.

If a laptop is on your back-to-school list, Deckard said now is the best time to buy, outside of Black Friday.

"Watch for the different sales at all the stores, specifically the office supply stores, even Amazon. We're going to find some really good prices," she said.

If you don't have kids in school, Deckard said the time before school starts is ideal for buying electronics and office supplies.

The best deals on clothing come in late August. Fall clothing is most expensive when it hits the racks, so being patient can save you some cash - so, you don't waste your money.

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