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If you live in an apartment in Lexington Park, MD you know that the back-to-school shopping season is kicking into high gear, but stores have been pushing it for a month. Families spend 100’s of dollars buying back to school supplies, clothes, shoes and electronics.

But how do you spend wisely and find the best deals? Here are a few tips from the experts:

Prioritize: Even though it is tempting to get all of your shopping done at once, you should do it in steps. Buy essentials first, then hold off on anything that is more of a treat than a necessity — those sorts of items will most likely be cheaper later.

Take advantage of sales as they occur. The farther we get into the season, the more likely products are going to go on sale.

Teen fashion trends change constantly too, so buy as much of that as you can in September or after school starts.

Do your homework: The deals are out there, but to take advantage, you have to study up. Check out brick-and-mortar stores’ websites or sites like pricegrabber.com or dealnews.com to compare prices to make sure you don’t overpay.

Find out when the sales are on the items you want. The best deals are on the weekends.

Store circulars are also an invaluable resource. But don’t overboard comparing prices on relatively cheap items.

Another helpful task before you hit the stores is to hit your child’s closet, and make sure you’re not buying something they already have.

Capitalize on student discounts: Did you know that signing up with a .edu email address at Best Buy could get you a $100 off a MacBook or iMac? Or that Amazon offers free two-day shipping for college students? There are a host of ways that students can get discounts, but it takes a little research to uncover.

Every retailer differs. Check your favorite stores to see if they give student discounts. Even if you don’t find anything online, ask in the store.

Get your kids involved: One way to make sure you’re not going to waste money on something your child doesn’t want is to get him or her involved early.

First, it can help teach about budgeting and making shopping decisions. Second, he or she will be more invested in the purchases.

Team up with other parents: Every child has a list of school supplies, and it’s easy to wind up over buying if they need four pens that only come in packs of eight.

Coordinating with a neighborhood group in your apartment community can not only help cut out buying in excess, but you can also swap items you already have with other families.

Trivalleycentral.com


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