SAN ANTONIO – Buh-bye beaches, hello backpacks.
With school bells ringing soon, families are tackling back-to-school shopping, and it's a haul that can add up.
According to the National Retail Federation, families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade will spend an average of nearly $685 on back-to-school shopping.
Anjelica Rodriguez is shopping for three kids.
"For all three, it's close to about $800 all together -- uniforms, shoes, school supplies, lunch bags," she said.
Doing a little homework and using a few shopping strategies can add up to savings.
Consumer Reports' savings experts suggests the following tips:
- Go shopping with a plan. Make a clear list and set a clear budget.
- Put technology to work. Use a price comparison app to be sure you're getting the best price.
- Buy in bulk. Buying multi-packs of certain items and splitting them among friends can save money.
- Consider buying refurbished electronics. Look for a certified used model from a reputable seller.
- Take advantage of this weekend's tax-free holiday.
Other smart moves suggested by Nerdwallet.com:
- Splurge strategically on items that last for years, such as backpacks. Bargain shop on fads and classroom supplies.
- Price match. Many retailers have a price-matching policy.
- Wait to buy some items. By postponing some purchases, you can spread the costs and possibly hit better prices.