DETROIT - During the busy back-to-school season, you might be in such a rush to get your new clothes, new notebooks, and other supplies that you forget to do your consumer homework!
Many parents will spend hundreds of dollars on back-to-school shopping, so saving money is a key priority for many families.
Ruth to the Rescue recently walked through the Target store in Rochester Hills with Bargain Shopper Mom Melissa Buckles, who runs a website that focuses on savings year round. She has plenty of tricks that can help trim your back-to-school budget.
Shop Early, Shop Often
"I would say that you definitely want to be shopping in August for all of your school supplies," says Buckles. "Maybe not your clothing, because you want to wait for some of that because the weather will change."
Before you start, she suggests you do some homework first, in the form of looking for coupons.
"Whenever you shop, I want you to make sure you are looking for a coupon," says Buckles. Coupons can unlock huge savings and using them at the right time can double the discount.
"If you're waiting on a sale, stack a coupon on top of that and you can get a great deal."
Credit Card Bonuses
Another smart move is to apply for store credit or debit cards where you shop most frequently. Cards like these can save you money every time you use them to make purchases. For example, the Target Red Card, which saves you 5% every time you shop at that store.
Don't forget about price matching either. Many stores offer this great perk, which will not only save you money, but time. "You don't have to run around to all different kinds of stores. You can just take your ads and price match," says Buckles.
Additional research is also a must when price-matching.
The fine print in each store's policy can determine whether your attempts to save money are successful, or you run into some of that retailer red tape! Buckles suggests bringing competitor ads with you shopping, and to have a printed copy of the store's price match policy.
You can find more tips and coupons at www.bargainshoppermom.com.
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