Navigating Local Back-To-School Deals and Sales
It won't be long before the kids are heading back to school, and that means teachers will soon be sending your child's school supply list.
There are tons of deals going on this week, and it's important to take advantage of those deals to cut down on costs. The National Retail Federation estimates parents with kids in grades K-12 will spend an average of $688 this year to get students ready to head back to school. But by matching sales with coupons, shoppers can save a lot of money,
"Start now. Don't wait until the last minute," advises Tatanisha Worthey. She runs "A Mitten Full of Coupons," a blog dedicated to finding the best deals and coupons in the Lansing area. "Get some coupons, look at deals people are posting, and go out there and grab them."
Worthey let us tag along on a shopping trip for school supplies at Meijer in Okemos. First she picked up some Rose Art crayons at 25 cents, then used a coupon for a dollar off of three packs from the Sunday paper to get them for free. She did the same with glue.
"These are 34 cents and again I'll use the dollar off three coupons so that will make them free as well," Worthey explained.
This week Bic pens at Meijer are 97 cents, but that's not the best deal in town.
"Actually Walgreens has a better deal on these this week - 49 cents," said Worthey. "So with a dollar off coupon they'd be free at Walgreens."
By shopping smart, Worthey saves almost $20 dollars and only pays $4. She had already been shopping at Target to take advantage of deals there. Coupons on the store's website helped save on pens, tape, markers, and big-ticket items too.
"Target has a really good deal on backpacks this week," Worthey said. "Backpacks are priced between $14.99 and $19.99 and there's a three dollars off coupon on their website."
Worthey recommends a trip to Staples or Office Max for good deals on expensive calculators. Walmart always promises to beat, or at least match, the competition's prices.
"Each store has a good deal on something and if you're in an area where you can go and get all those deals with the stores, fine," said Worthey. "If not, take those ads to Walmart and price match everything there."
The bottom line -- by putting in a little bit of effort to cut out coupons, you can save a whole lot of money.
"I only paid tax at Target today," Worthey said. "It was 53 cents and I saved $14.24 so all of these items were free."
Another tip to save money -- stick to your supply list. It's not a bargain if you're just buying it because it's on sale, but don't actually need it.
If couponing sounds like a lot of work to you, the easiest way to follow the sales and find coupons is to follow a coupon blog like "A Mitten Full of Coupons."