Back to school shopping is starting earlier than ever. In fact, 40% of us started purchasing back to school items before the Fourth of July. How much will we spend on average this year? $670, up 5% from last year.


Stores have already rolled out their back to school sales, including:


  • A $100 gift card for any college student who purchases a MAC, and a $50 gift card for students buying an iPhone or iPod from Apple.

  • $15 gift cards when you spend $75 on dorm bedding from Target.

  • 25% discounts on backpacks from L.L. Bean.


Mark LoCastro of has some good tips for saving a few bucks getting your kids ready for school:


  • Repurpose what you have from last year (rulers, pencil boxes, calculators, etc)

  • Swap school supplies and clothing with other moms

  • Take what you're not using to stores like Once Upon a Child and Plato's Closet and make some money. They buy back good condition kids' clothing for cash or store credit.

  • Stores offer lost leaders like penny folders and 25 cent notebooks. Look for those deals at every store.

  • Check for school uniform deals at Sears, JC Penny, Walmart, Old Navy,, Rainbow, and some Dollar General stores.

 Photo credit: jmiltenburg from