CHICAGO - Believe it or not, the start of the new school year is just around the corner.
With so many sales and so many stores to choose from, it can be confusing to figure out who has the best deals on back to school supplies.
After checking with a few experts, we found it can be as easy as A-B-C.
"Make sure you are checking prices and setting sale alerts," said consumer finance expert Andrea Woroch.
Woroch says a good way to set a sales alert is to prep your computer browser first with a few money saving tools.
"First one is PriceBlink. This is an instant price comparison tool which will alert you if something you’re eyeing at one site is available for less at another," Woroch said.
She also recommends taking a look at the Beni tool.
"It will let you know if something you are browsing brand new is available for less through a resale site, whether it’s brand new with tags on or gently used," she said.
She also recommended CouponCabin's Sidekick tool.
"This will let you know if there are any coupon codes available or any cash back available for any of the sites you are shopping at. All you do is click the code and it will apply the biggest discount to your order," Woroch said.
"And the whole idea of these plug-ins is to do the hard work of comparison shopping for you and find the best available price that’s actually going to work," said MoneyCrashers.com finance editor Brian Martucci.
He says using a browser pricing tool can save you some serious money if you’re doing some serious back to school shopping.
"I mean it depends on the retailer but 10, 20, 30% of just on the same product between different websites," Martucci said.
Despite that, he said many consumers are not using them.
"People are always surprised when I talk about this. And I just think that’s because there’s so much choice and it’s easy to just kind of decision fatigue. Just go for the first kind of deal you find. But it really is worth the effort," Martucci said.
When you find your item on sale, there are tools to help you compare sale prices and history.
"I would still urge you to compare circulars because you never know who has what on your list for a better price, and Flipp allows you to see all the circulars in one place to really comparison shop," Woroch said.
"You can even use a price check site. CamelCamelCamel.com or the Honey browser extension will give you historical pricing data. This will let you know if the deal you are eyeing at any point through the summer is in fact the lowest selling price," she added.
Here's two more money saver tips for you.
Woroch says be sure to compare cash back cards and sign up offers at CardRates.com. That will help you see which ones are going to work the hardest for you.
And make sure you redeem your credit card reward points. She says there are a lot of consumers who don’t do that.