Tips to save more on back-to-school shopping


It's always great to get a game plan ready for tax free weekend. And if you're thinking you're not up to shopping with the crowds, no problem, because we have money saving options for you, too.

With just over two weeks left before school starts, parents are checking off their list little by little.

"I always start early and make sure I come to the sales," parent Anatashia Lagardy said.

According the National Retail Federation, parents are expected to spend about $350 per child on clothes and shoes, so to really save, think outside the box.

Host a clothing swap! You can create one with your friends, neighbors and family members. Simply designate a location, pick a time and swap.

"A lot of time kids leave stuff practically new, leave the clothes practically new, so it can be continued," parent Francis Vega said.

Savings tip No. 2: Buy discount gift cards online. Sites like and offer gift cards at a discount. Take, for example, an American Eagle gift card sold at The value of the card is $59.98 but you get it for 20 percent off. Combine that with store coupons, and you can save even more.

"We need to be able to think smart and shop wise," Lagardy said.

Another way to lock in great savings for back to school is to use your smartphone to find those store apps; many of them offer coupons now. If you don't want to download a bunch of store apps, ask the store manager to see what coupons are available and if it's worth your time.

"I make sure my coupons are always on my phone so when I get to the cash register I just show my coupon, rather than clipping," parent Elizabeth Lozano said.

Tip No. 4: Look for the yellow tag specials. So when you are out back to school shopping one place, you don't want to miss is the clearance section for those end-season sales. You are bound to find some items like tank tops and shorts that you can layer as it gets cooler in our Houston climate.

Tip No. 5: Sign up for your favorite retail email alerts and search for coupon codes to enter in the promo code upon checkout.

And here's another helpful tip: Skip the fall and winter clothing sections. First of all, it's 100 degrees outside and the prices will drop at the end of September and October.

And finally, Tip No. 7: Don't fall for those "Buy More, Save More" tactics. Pull out your smartphone calculator and find out if it's a better deal and don't buy items just because you need to reach a certain spending amount.

Find Patricia on Facebook at ABC13PatriciaLopez or on Twitter at @patricialopez13

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