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Today’s Hint: Three Back-to-School Shopping Tips

As usual, summer is going by too fast, and the school year will start before we know it. So, to help you prepare for those August deals, I’ve gathered together some of the best back-to-school shopping tips I’ve come across lately. These tips make up today’s hint.

1. Think beyond “school.” In other words, the back-to-school sales season is a great time to save on more than just what your kids need for “school.” For instance, if you want to stock up on art supplies to do craft projects with your kids, back-to-school sales are a perfect way to do that for less. Similarly, as Hint Mama contributor Leslie Neeland Harvey of Trips With Tykes cleverly points out, many school items on sale in August (think backpacks and tablets) can “do double duty for travel with kids,” so the sales offer a great opportunity to stock up on gear for your next trip. Meanwhile, if you need furniture for your children’s playroom or bedroom, consider taking advantage of back-to-school deals on “dorm-room” furniture like beanbags and desks.

2. Know where to shop. When it comes to buying school supplies, forget online shopping because, as DealNews points out, the best deals are often in-store. So which store to hit up? According to GoBankingRates, Target and Walmart are the two most popular back-to-school retailers, but that doesn’t mean they’re created equal. According to a GoBankingRates analysis, Target offered the better deal on a basket of 12 school-supply basics – the essentials ran $64.97 at Target versus just under $100 at Walmart. Of course, Walmart does offer a price-match guarantee, but you can save yourself some hassle by shopping at Target from the get go.

3. Stock up. Looking to save yourself some time? If you have the storage space, stock up on school supplies during this year’s sales, so you don’t have to do back-to-school shopping next year (hat tip to SitterCity for this one).

For more on how to save during the back-to-school season, check out my hint on three great tips for saving on school supplies as well as Cheapism’s 50 back-to-school savings tips.

What’s your best back-to-school shopping tip?

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