Back to school: How to save money & ease stress

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Stretching your dollar while shopping for back to school supplies

From the crowds to the cash parents have to shell out — back to school shopping can be stressful — but it doesn’t have to be.

Jenny Martin of the Southern Savers couponing website says start early, picking up a few items each week

Go ahead and get supplies for the whole year now.

“We don’t see sales in the spring. So any supplies you think your going to need go ahead and get them. Maybe even times two,” Martin says.

And, don’t shell out for your child’s favorite character, Martin says branded supplies can be triple the cost.

“A tip, get some stickers and let your kid decorate their own notebook with their favorite character, you’re going to save a lot more money than paying for it upfront.”

Shop around, most stores will match the prices of competitors and don’t forget those coupons.

Ones you find online or in the Sunday newspaper, can sometimes be used in addition to store coupons for even more savings.

For items like bookbags to binders — that tend to take a beating. Martin says paying more upfront will pay off later.

“Some of those higher end brands actually have lifetime guarantees. If it falls apart, you take it back to the store and you get a brand new one for free.”

And, she says Back to School sales beat Black Friday when it comes to computers and other electronic equipment.

Martin say you can also save on some big price tag items — like graphing calculators or uniforms — by buying them used.

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