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Back to school shopping hacks with the Queen of Free

Schools will be back in session in less than a month.

INDIANAPOLIS — Some schools will be back in session in less than a month. But before your kids come home with that supply list, you can get ahead of the game for back-to-school shopping with some help from Cherie Lowe, the Queen of Free.

Cherie shared her back-to-school shopping hacks on 13Sunrise that allow you to get a head start on things so you are not overwhelmed by the August rush.

First, take an inventory of what you already have at home that can go back to school for another year. Think of non-consumable things like pencil boxes, backpacks, lunch boxes, rulers, earbuds, and scissors that can all be reused year after year. Make a list of what you already have so you won't waste time and money buying new. 

You can look for school supplies at bargain prices year-round. Big box retailers or grocery store sells items they know they’ll lose money on. These items are called “'loss leaders.” The store offers a great bargain knowing you’ll purchase more than what you came for. This strategy usually plays out during the back-to-school shopping season.

So Cherie advised looking for school supply loss leaders whenever you hit the store and stock up. The deals will change each week, but you can pick up one or two of the items – say $0.50 crayons or $0.10 folders – on each trip, and you’ll save money in the long run by buying extra to use throughout the year. 

Check the Sunday paper ads for what big box and office supply stores are offering that week. Then think about shopping online and using curbside pickup to save time.   

Cherie also recommends using an app like Cozi or even Notes or a Google Doc to compile your own list. That way, the entire family can see what is needed on the family list pick up items when they see them on sale, rather than trying to buy everything in one trip and pay the prices in effect that day.

Watch Cherie's advice from 13Sunrise in the video player, or read more back-to-school shopping hacks in her blog.


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