How to save big on back-to-school supplies

Whether you're shopping for school supplies in-store or online, FOX 32 found ways you can save big on back-to-school.

It may be hard to believe - but it's here: time for back-to-school shopping and that means new backpacks, clothes, and supplies.

“Some schools in the suburbs are starting next week, and CPS starts soon after that. So yeah, it's definitely that time of year,” said parent Elizabeth Diffin, senior editor of Chicago Parent.

But before you head out to the stores, Diffin says take a look at what's already in your house.

“You don't have to buy everything fresh,” Diffin said.

Take inventory and shop your closet and office. That way, you won't pay for something you might already have.

And when you do go the store, Diffin says there's an easy way to make sure you're getting the best deal.

“The good news is that there's an app for that,” she said.

Phone apps that scan barcodes will tell you if a notebook - or backpack - is cheaper somewhere else.

“So that you can make sure that you're getting the very best price,” Diffin said.

Diffin says another app to consider is called FLOK. FLOK will tell you about loyalty programs at retailers near you. If you already have rewards saved up, be sure to use them.

“I think a lot of us forget that we have money sort of sitting there,” Diffin said.

And if you shop online, consider using a site called E-Bates that will give you cash back.

“So you're already buying this stuff, you might as well get a little bit of a benefit from it,” Diffin said.

Follow these tips and you could save big bucks.

“Really stick to your list, stick to your budget, make sure you're only getting the things that you need,” Diffin said.

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