Back to School

August 1, 2009 by  
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Smart Lessons in Back-to-School Savings: How Online Shopping Makes the Grade

(Family Features) Back-to-school shopping is an annual ritual that millions of parents participate in each year. In fact, back-to-school time is one of the biggest shopping seasons of the year, second only to the winter holidays. Last year, Americans spent more than $54 billion on supplies, clothes and electronics for school and college-age kids, according to the National Retail Federation, with jeans, backpacks and electronics as some of the most popular back-to-school products.

Getting what students need and keeping the costs reasonable calls for some smart shopping strategies. The easiest place to start is at your computer. These tips will help you study the online possibilities and earn some A+ deals.

Add Up Extra Savings Before you start hunting down everything on the must-have list, check for printable coupons or online coupon codes on Web sites such as:

• The site is updated several times a day, and you can sign up to get a weekly newsletter alerting you to new deals. • Get helpful feedback from users on what coupon codes worked and which ones didn’t. • Entering your zip code lets you find deals specific to your area.

Be on the lookout for free shipping offers on these sites, as well. If you’re not careful, shipping costs can negate any savings you may have found.

Get Cash Back A growing trend in smart online shopping is participation in programs that give you cash back. Web sites such as have partnerships with major retailers to offer items at great prices. Registered users shop for name brand items and when purchases are made through the site, they automatically get a percentage of the purchase price back as a cash rebate. More details on how this works can be found at

Shopping with the following merchants through Bing, for example, could give you cashback savings like these:

Back to School Gear and Gadgets: • HP, 5% •, 3 – 5% •, 10%

Back to School Fashion: •, 19% •, 11% • Foot Locker, 20% • 3%

The cashback amounts, which change daily, can be sent via check to your address or deposited into a bank account or PayPal account, and after a 60 day waiting period, the money is yours.

“This is a great way to save money on school supplies,” said Bridget Tate, Bing Shopping product manager. “When you look at how much back to school items such as laptops, clothes, backpacks and tech gadgets can cost, that 5 or 10 percent cashback really helps.” During back to school season, adds Tate, Bing Shopping will be offering even higher percentages of cashback (up to 50 percent more cashback).

Getting the kids ready for school again doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Smart shopping will send them off in style and leave you with a smile.

To learn more about how to be a smart online shopper and get cash back this back-to-school season,, visit

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