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Consumer Watch: Getting the best deals on school gear

Looking for deals on back to school gear can seem like a full time job, but these tips can point you in the right direction (KOKH).

Back to school shopping can be a real strain on your monthly budget, but there are some good deals on back to school gear. You just have to know where to look, and why sometimes waiting on making a certain purchase is the smarter move.

From pencils to notebooks, backpacks, and clothes, the price of back to school shopping starts adding up fast. In a survey conducted by Offers.com, parents reported spending an average of $428.00 in back to school shopping per child. That is a hefty number, but you can cut back on that whopping figure while still getting kids what they need.

"Often times you'll find a lot of left over supplies from last year, so make sure you are checking around home to make sure you don’t buy doubles," says Carson Yarbrough, a representative of Offers.com.

If you find you don't already have what you need, check big box retailers for major deals. Yarbrough points to Target as one store slashing school supplies prices, and places like Kohl’s have ongoing clothing sales, including ‘buy one get one half off’ on some kids' clothing. However, experts recommend avoiding spending all the kids' clothing budget before school starts.

"Older kids generally like to see what their friends are wearing to see their favorite trends, so we recommend saving some of your money on clothes for after school starts," says Yarbrough

Right now we are in the middle of the busiest part of the back to school shopping season, so if you still have some items to buy, expect to see crowds. However, survey reports show more Americans are trying to avoid those crowds, and opting for buying even basic school supplies online instead.

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