From supplies to clothes, back-to-school shopping can be a bank-breaker for some parents.
This year alone consumers are on track to spend nearly $400 dollars per child. But smart shoppers like Adrienne Wynn find ways to save money and even score some free deals and designer clothes.
"I'm a penny pincher so I love to save money," Wynn says. "I kind of bounce from store to store just to gather everything I need as well as saving."
She says she checks the Sunday paper for deals on school supplies, clothes and shoes and shops at thrift stores like Goodwill, which sells merchandise tax-free every day. She says she can find deals on designer shirts for $2.49 and pants for about $4.
"There are name brand things in my buggy from Gap and L.L. Bean and they are the same price with tags still on them," Wynn says.
It's this type of shopping that has helped Adrienne shave hundreds of dollars off her bill.
Debbie Kidd with the Homeownership Resource Center says because back to school shopping can be such a big expense, it's important to do it little by little. And programs offering free school supplies can also help.
"Every weekend we see programs around the Tri-County giving away supplies, backpacks and essentials kids need and it's free," Kidd says. Her advice: look in local papers and online to find the programs.
Kidd also says its important to shop around, do your homework and start early not waiting until the last minute.
Signing up for bonus and rewards cards whenever possible also help, Kidd says. Dollar stores offer many school supplies for lower prices, Kidd says.
And it's not only dollar stores where good deals can be found, Wynn says. Many stores like Staples, OfficeMax and Office Depot have penny deals on certain days.
"For 2 kids I average about 150 to 200 dollars and that's for clothing,shoes, school supplies and book bags and that's with shopping around," Wynn said.