Back-to-school offers already in stores

July 14, 2011 3:25:25 PM PDT
The start of school is still several weeks away, but have you noticed many stores are officially in back-to-school mode? According to analysts, retailers are starting earlier than ever to try and get us to spend.

But is that smart shopping?

The short answer is that it depends. Some prices will drop even more as the summer comes to a close, but some sales have already hit rock bottom, so you may want to strike now while the iron is hot and the selection is the best.

"I came in for the one-cent sales," fifth grade teacher Rhoda Robinson said.

When Robinson saw the Staples sale ad, she made a bee line for the one-cent deals.

"This is great now because the kids now come without supplies," Robinson said.

Target, Academy and Staples are just some of the retailers already fully stocked with back-to-school supplies and parents are already checking off their list.

"I don't like fighting the crowds and I don't do that no-tax day," shopper Kim Martin said.

At Target, there are some rock-bottom deals, like glue and crayons for 20 cents each. Some lunch bags are just $2.79. But teacher Tiffanie Jarrett says the markers she wants are not on sale.

"I'm kinda going to wait for that weekend until it hits the 10 cents then I am going wipe them out," Jarrett said.

And while management is not certain when those markers will be on sale, historically, they will be 50 percent off or more before back-to-school starts. School uniforms are also regular price but expect these items to go on sale.

"There will be featured in our ads every week up through and beyond the start of school," Target employee Barry Mosley said.

At Academy, the store is known for the best prices on school uniforms. In fact, management says the prices marked are the lowest they will be throughout the back-to-school season.

To get the best deals on school supplies you may want to check out the office supply stores like Staples, where they have what are called extreme deals are just a penny, like some glue and a pack of pens. But beware and read the fine print because in many cases, there is a minimum purchase to spend and a limit on items.

Extreme deals are only good Sunday through Wednesday only. But if you don't want to shop from week to week for the bargains, Staples is selling a "Back to School Savings Pass" for $10. From now until September 17, you can save 15 percent off on most back-to-school items.

"From back packs to your school supplies, not including technology, you get 15 percent off those products," Tonya Cosey with Staples said.

The store also has a rebate program for students on certain computers. It's a $100 gift card with purchase that's good until September 5, but you must bring your student ID or college acceptance letter to qualify.

The bottom line is each store will have special sales, and if you are pinching pennies, you should shop those sales and move on. If you want to know if an item will eventually go on sale, it pays to just ask the store manager. Many times they will tell you if you should wait for a better bargain.

You will save money shopping online as well but most of those extreme deals like 25 cent crayons or penny pencil packs will not be available to purchase through the internet.

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