Saving money on back to school shopping

August 1, 2008 9:44:49 AM PDT
This year, perhaps more than ever before, families are trying to cut back on the spendings and that includes back to school supplies. We have some great ideas. Instead of spending $40 to $50, how would you like to spend $10 to cover that list from the school? One suburban mom says she's doing it and you can too.

"Every store around is having really great sales," said Jill Cataldo.

"The worst thing to do, which is what they expect you do to, is to grab the list and buy everything in the store," she said.

Cataldo wasn't always a bargain hunter, but when her third child was born a year ago, she thought it was time to be smarter with her shopping.

"I just started looking on line... became a fan, started bargain hunting," she said.

Today, she spends on average $65 a week on groceries for her family, which includes a one-year-old, a three-year-old and a 12-year-old.

For seventh seventh grade bound Angelica's school supplies she's at a total of $5 and is almost done for her. It would've cost her 49 dollars if she had bought the pre-packages offered by the school.

"Every store around is having really great sales on 5 cent items. While I don't advocate chasing the deal, drive from store to store, just shop where you are, take the list look at things that are cheap just buy those things," said Cataldo.

Those things are the loss leaders. Super-cheap items to get you in the store. That's all Cataldo buys. Like markers, for example, for a dollar. But Cataldo has a coupon.

"With 75 cents off dollar markers... (I) wouldn't pay more than a dollar, but a quarter is even better," she said.

She also bought pens for free.

"Two bags of 10 for $1-- coupons.com had $1 off couple, so it was free."

So, have the list with you, use coupons, watch for loss leaders, and buy just that. When you're really good at it, you can make money!

"These were last week, free after rebates, can still use coupons... Got markers for free." But Cataldo says be careful of the biggest mistake-- buying everything in one store.

"What got you in the store is cheap, but everything else (is) full price," she said.

Even her daughter is now learning to save on back-to-school supplies.

"She started getting these things for free," her daughter said. "I thought it was really cool."

Again, Cataldo says she doesn't make special trips to get the bargains. She has the list with her all the time, and whatever store she's in, she grabs what's cheap. She also says the best time to shop is Sunday through Wednesday when many stores have two different sets of sales going on.

Fore more info:
www.jillcataldo.com
www.supercouponing.com
www.coupons.com


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