Ten Back-to-School Sales, Deals, and Money-Saving Tips and Strategies

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For whatever reason, going back to school is associated with pushing one’s credit card to the limits. Perhaps not so much this year. Back-to-school spending is expected to be down nearly 8 percent compared to last year. Here are ten links that may help you save more than the average pupil.

1. “Back-to-School Savings on Kids’ Clothing,” from Consumer Reports.

2. Backpacks get overloaded with school books, and your child can wind up with a hurt back if you skimp out with a cheap knapsack. Even so, that doesn’t mean your kid needs a pack that costs $70.

3. Penny sales! Be on the lookout for one-cent sales at stores like Staples and CVS.

4. Ever see a child bring lunch to school in a bento box? Me neither. These pricey lunchboxes (upwards of $35) are designed to appeal to moms, not kids.

5. “What You Really Need to Bring to College”—and, reading between the lines, what you don’t. A handy guide from WalletPop.

6. “25 Best Back-to-School Gadgets.”

7. “How to Save Money on the First Year of College,” including advice on computers, books, phones, and more.

8. Instead of having to buy expensive textbooks, college students are increasingly able to rent them.

9. A new iPhone app helps you find the best deal on textbooks, and that might mean buying new or used, purchasing a digital version, or renting.

10. Six tactics for saving on back-to-school shopping, from SmartMoney. One tip: Many stores will honor today’s sales prices for items purchased up to two weeks ago.

Bonus link (because 11 isn’t a good number for a list): Consumer Reports’ tips for saving money on the college campus, including considering a smaller meal plan and joining a wholesale club like Sam’s or BJ’s.

Bonus bonus link (because 12 is a better number than 11, but still not as good as 10): “10 Things College Students Don’t Need” from Kiplinger. On the (not) list: a printer, cable TV, a car.

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