Over the weekend while shopping with my girls, we noticed that school supplies are hitting the shelves. Which can be fun for kids, but expensive for parents. Like all moms, I would definitely love to save money when stocking my kids' bookbags as they head back to the classroom.

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According to ramseysolutions.com, here are some helpful tips for back-to-school shopping.

  1. Make a plan- Don't just go into the store without a school supply list and just grab off the shelves. Figure out which items are necessary (pens, pencils, paper. etc.), use your phone to make notes on what your kiddos need. Check to see what your kids have form last year that can be used for the upcoming year, this will save you so much money. Just get when you need to get started, then wait until the middle or end of September to get the rest. That's typically when stores start moving out the school supplies in place of Halloween costumes and decorations. You might be able to score some big discounts if you can hold off a few extra weeks.
  2. Find Out When the Tax Free Holiday takes place- For Missouri the dates are August 6 through 8, and Iowa dates are August 6 & 7. Sorry, Illinois. No Tax-Free Holiday for you this year.
  3. Online Shopping- This can be the best tool you have at your disposal. You can price out the different items in order to find the best deal, but more importantly, you don't have to drag the kids anywhere and have them pick out what they want. SAVE YOUR SANITY! Some websites will offer free shipping, so make sure you shop around.
  4. Check prices- Many stores like Walmart, Target and Best Buy will price match their competitors. Could save you a trip or two.
  5. Sign Up for Store Email- Lots of department stores have coupons and every penny count, even if you just have $5 (that's $5). So, sign up to as many places you shop at as you can, it will save you at least a little bit of money.

Back to school shopping can be fun (might have to get a bottle of wine afterwards). Just think, soon we'll be talking all about holiday shopping which, in my opinion, is way more fun...but also requires a glass or two of wine.

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