12 On Your Side: Saving money for back-to-school

This week’s consumer roundup from Marilyn Moritz!

How much does that list of school supplies cost?

Happy weekend, everybody!

If you’re on social media much, you’ve probably seen more than a couple first-day-of-school pics. For the first time in 17 years, I don’t have any to share.

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We’re adulting now!

For a lot of kiddoes, it’s an exciting time -- meeting the teacher, riding the bus and picking out the perfect backpack. For parents, it’s a spendy time.

We did a little comparison shopping for school supplies and found Walmart was the least expensive for our little haul – with H-E-B and Target pretty close. H-E-B got an A+ for having everything in stock and easy to find.

It’s time to pack lunches, too – something some families haven’t done in a couple of years. But now that the universal free lunch program expired, it’s time to break out the lunch box.  I had a chance to visit with Erin Chase, guru of grocery savings, to talk about how to save money when making the kids’ lunches.  By the way, Erin  imparted this bit of PB&J wisdom.  If you put a thin coat of peanut butter on both slices of bread, it keeps the jelly from making the bread soggy.  Now, she tells me!

If your kids need more than a Big Chief and a number 2 pencil, we have some laptop information from our partners at Consumer Reports.  Turns out you don’t have to spend a lot to get a quality laptop.

We’ve heard from a lot of folks about those CPS Energy bills.  The higher natural gas prices and the hot weather making your AC work harder have driven bills to OMG territory.  Since the city gets a portion of CPS Energy’s revenue, it’s getting a windfall. Now, they are talking about giving some of it back to rate payers. That will amount to about $30 off a later bill. Stay tuned to see what happens.

By the way, after my first high summer bill, I set my thermostat 2 degrees warmer during the day. It paid off. My next bill, when it was just as miserably hot outside, was $40 less.

Stay cool. Stay safe.


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About the Author

Marilyn Moritz is an award-winning journalist dedicated to digging up information that can make people’s lives a little bit better. As KSAT’S 12 On Your Side Consumer reporter, she focuses on exposing scams and dangerous products and helping people save money.

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