BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — You’ve got your list and plenty of time to prepare, because it’s time for back to school shopping.
It's estimated families will spend over $800 on back to school shopping this year, according to the National Retail Federation.
“Making sure that we make those dollars stretch, families really want to make those dollars stretch," said Charles Lindsey, Consumer Trends Expert and Associate Professer at the University at Buffalo School of Management.
Here’s your seven step guide to back to school shopping:
Step 1: Shop at home first
Check those junk drawers, look for extra pens and pencils and maybe you’ll cross a few things off the list.
"Make a list of what you really need, look at what you already have from last year, so you’re not buying items you already have," said Lindsey.
Step 2: Know when to shop
Most sales start Sunday morning, per Lindsey, so shop on Sunday or Monday.
Step 3: Make sure you’re signed up for deals
"Make sure that you sign up for those text based and email based coupons from the various retailers that offer them," said Lindsey.
Step 4: While you’re in the store, try not to spend all in one place, compare prices online
"Download the amazon app, the price check app so when you’re shopping in store, you can quickly price check and theoretically you can make a purchase right there if you find that amazon is offering a lower price," said Lindsey.
Step 5: Buy in bulk
"If you buy in bulk, you’re gonna pay less per unit, per pen, per pencil, per marker, for notebook, per folder, what have you," said Lindsey.
Step 6: after you finish shopping—upload your receipts online
Websites like Ibotta.com will give you cash back in the form of dollars put directly in your paypal account, according to Lindsey.
Step 7:If you don’t need it right away, wait to buy it
"You don’t wear all of your outfits in the same week typically, so if you can spread those school supplies and outfits and jean purchases out, especially mid September late September, you're gonna see some nice discounts there," said Lindsey.
Lindsey says patience is key—search online, look in stores, take your time to make your money stretch.
He also suggests checking out the following websites: