Better Business Bureau says Back to School? Shop Smart!

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Burnsville, MN — Getting ready to go back to school? Join the crowd!

In 2012, $83.8 billion dollars were spent on back-to-school shopping in the U.S., according to the National Retail Federation. That breaks down to the average person spending around $688.62 on their children in grades K-12. Of course, not everyone will spend that much, but regardless of your budget, you’ll want to check out these helpful back-to-school budget tips from the Better Business Bureau (BBB):

Make a shopping list. Even if you don’t know the exact school supply list, you should get an idea of necessary school clothing and other school needs. Make a list for each child, but start by making an inventory of items that you may already have left over from last year. Remember, for some items, it’s worth spending a bit more (for example, a high quality backpack can last for years).

Create a budget. Do a quick price search online for the items on your list and add them all up. Be sure to clip coupons, and make note of discount codes and any cash-back or rebate programs. If you goal is to reduce spending, now is the time to decide how much you want to cut.

Set up email alerts at your favorite stores. Monitoring pricing early on is the key to finding good deals on quality products. Many sites will have an informed community of savvy shoppers on their blog or in their forums who willingly share deals, exclusive coupons, rebates and insider information on where and when to find the best prices, popular models and links to helpful resources. These alerts will assure you don’t miss out on the most in demand products, and/or limited opportunities.

Take advantage of discounts. Many stores offer student and teacher discounts on hot items like laptops and uniforms. Retailers will be trying to make room for fall fashion and the latest in-season products, so there are often incredible savings to be had on older items.

The mission of the Better Business Bureau is to be the leader in building marketplace trust by promoting, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, assist and protect the general public. The BBB is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the BBB at or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.


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