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Summer break is a great time for kids to relax, hang out with friends, and enjoy their downtime before heading back to the classroom. But, in a flash, the summer is over, and it’s time to start preparing your child to return to school. While you might be excited for your child to get back in the classroom to start learning again, you are probably not excited to drop all that cash on back-to-school shopping. According to the National Retail Federation, families with children in K-12 schools typically spend about $850 on average for back-to-school shopping expenses.

Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to break the bank. With a bit of planning and the tips and tricks below, parents can stay on budget.

  • Be prepared. Review the school supply list your child’s teacher provided and make a list of needed items.
  • Shop smart. Plan ahead by shopping during Ohio tax-free weekend: Aug. 5-7 and checking advertiser circulars for sales.
  • Search deals. Shop at stores with price matching and rebate offers. (Be sure to bring sale circulars with you.)
  • Shop outside the box by visiting dollar stores and consignment shops.
  • Utilize technology. Use apps for pricing and discounts.

Few parents want to think about shopping for the coming school year, especially amid high summer. But back-to-school shopping can creep up on parents quickly, so it pays to start shopping early. That way, you can take advantage of every deal and coupon that comes your way. And stocking supplies slowly can help ease the impact on a family’s monthly budget.

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