Back-to-school shopping dos and don'ts

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Producer - Catlin Bogard
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

If you haven't started yet, now is the time many parents dread:  back to school shopping.

A new study by the National Retail Federation shows many families are scaling back.

Last year, the average family spent $688.  This year, they're spending $50 less.

Same for kids heading back to college with average costs dropping by more than $40.

So where does that money go?

Most of it, about $230 is for new fall clothing.

Rlectronics cost almost $200.

Shoes another $114.

And those all important school supplies are actually one of the cheapest expenses, just $90.

So how can you save money on your back to school shopping?

First, shop online.  If you don't buy over the internet, you can still use it to compare prices.

Second, hold off buying trendier gear like pencil cases.  Kids may love one, but once they start school and see that their friends are all using another kind, they'll beg you to upgrade them and that only results in wasted cash.

Third, spread out your purchases.  A new jacket, maybe even new shoes, can likely wait a few weeks.

Finally, if you live in Missouri or Tennessee, shop during the sales tax free holiday.  Both states are holding theirs August 2-4.

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