In just a few weeks, area students will head back to school.
That means it's time to pick out the perfect outfit for the first day and stock up on school supplies for the new year.
It's also an expensive time for families of school aged-children. According to the National Retail Federation the average family with school aged-children will spend about $550 dollars on school supplies. However, there are ways to cut the cost.
Thanks to creative retailers and a little effort, you can get what your kids need at a fraction of the cost.
"We just picked one day to get everything we need, so we don't have to come back again," one local shopper said.
Shoppers are picking up the usual including pens, pencils and markers. Plus, this year, parents are getting what they need for less.
"The economy as we know it has been difficult and it's been difficult for retailers in that industry in particular, so the retailers who are doing well are really pulling together their creative and innovative efforts to do something that's different," Cheryl Bridges with Texas A&M University's Center for Retailing Studies said.
Everywhere you look you'll find sale signs.
At Office Max in College Station, it's back to school shopping for pennies.
Each week a new item will cost you a cent.
This week, you can snag a 12 inch wooden ruler and a folder for a penny each.
At CVS, you can find different school supplies for free each week. All you need to do is sign up for a free ExtraCare card and reap the benefits.
You can find pencil pouches at Office Depot for a nickel and pencil sharpeners for a dime.
Walgreens has poster board and packages of pencils for 19-cents a piece and you can find a set of highlighters for 29 cents.
At Target you'll find glue sticks for 50 cents and index cards will set you back 40 cents.
And you can snag crayons for 20 cents At Walmart and you'll find an entire row of rollback prices.
Experts say all you need to do is stick to your list and shop around for the best deals.
Plus, back to school shopping can be a valuable lesson for kids.
"Give them a budget and let them go into the store and figure out what they can really afford," Bridges said.
There are limits on how many bargain items you can buy at several of the stores. Also, CVS items are only free on certain days of the week.
I've also looked through this week's advertisements and I've done some price comparing for you.
Click on the link below to read my blog.