Tips for saving on back-to-school supplies

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According to a national survey, nearly 30 percent of parents polled say back to school shopping puts a strain on family finances. (WLS)

A survey by RetailMeNot found on average about $273 will be spent on back to school shopping this year - and that's just per kid.

But you don't have to sweat the school supplies. Here are a few ways you can save some money!

For kids, back to school means back to cool. But for parents, back to school shopping can be stressful.

According to a national survey, nearly 30 percent of parents polled say back to school shopping puts a strain on family finances. But there are apps that can save your sanity while saving you some money.

Redlaser helps keep your loyalty points all in one place. And if you have the bar code of a product you need - it can help you find the best deals - so you aren't paying more than you need to.

Shopkick gives you points just for walking in stores, which can be redeemed for a gift card - giving parents a little something, too.

And Retail Me Not highlights discounts and sales at some of the top stores.

"JC Penny has great offers on apparel and accessories. Bed, Bath and Beyond has great deals on everything from lunchboxes and binders even. Sears and Target also have really great steals and deals for back to school in particular," said Sara Skirboll, a shopping and trends expert for RetailMeNot.

The savings may help you find some extra cash while others are "Finding Dory."

"Big box office hits are influencing back to school trends. Star Wars, Frozen, Angry Birds all of these types of images on everything from binders to backpacks to lunchboxes," Skirboll said.

Consumer Reports also has some tips to help you save money on back to school shopping.

First, wait to buy. Don't feel pressured to get every single item on your child's supply list before the first day of school.

Ask the teachers which items are needed right away and then buy remaining supplies later. You might get better deals in September. Also, go shopping with a plan and stick to it!

Consumer Reports suggests skipping the office supply stores. Good options include dollar stores or wholesale stores like Costco and Sam's Club.

And consider buying refurbished electronics instead of new. If you still want to buy the new stuff, you may get a better price waiting until October, when stores tend to get new models and discount older merchandise.
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educationeducationback to school
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