Heading back to class means hitting the stores, and savings

CBS 21

The second busiest shopping season is here, and for most parents, back to school may just be the most wonderful time of the year -- even more than the holidays.

With books, clothes, and electronic gadgets being necessities these day, experts say parents are about to drop $70 billion to send their kids to school in style.

Still, it’s how to prepare kids and pocketbooks that can make all the difference.

As reality hits kids and they prepare their minds to hit the books, parents are preparing their wallets for the upcoming school year.

Experts say before hitting the stores, preparation is the keep to success, with financial experts saying the best time to buy is when a consumer doesn’t have an item, and then it all comes down to supply and demand.

Even if you didn’t catch the end of season sales last year or stock up on notebook paper in May, shoppers can still save a buck or two right now.

Shoppers need to do their homework, though, by reviewing stores sales and checking their emails for offers.

It’s also a reality that for kids, peer pressure has a big impact on what kids will want.

Parents should set their kids’ expectation early, like setting a budget and telling kids that anything over budget will be coming out of their pockets.

It’s also a helpful lesson for kids to learn about budgeting.

Experts say it’s not always about saving the most, but spending more on items that will last longer could actually be a benefit.

For example, buying a sturdier book bag that can be used for several years can actually save money in the long run.

Another way to make money work a little harder is to cash in on items that might already be purchased, like identifying clothes kids aren’t wearing anymore and take them to consignment shops for resale.

There’s also the slower approach, because a few weeks after school starts supply prices often drop big time, so buying a little and spending more just a little while down the road can also pay off.

Lastly, consumers need to keep their payment options in check, and remember when using credit cards not to charge over their limits, or back to school payments could start running into those holiday bills.