Back-to-school shopping: Tips to save money, avoid stress

WASHINGTON – Parents nationwide are struggling with back-to-school shopping. Their kids want this, but they can only afford that.

To cut down on the stress, parents should get their kids involved. Trae Bodge, senior writer for‘s Insider Magazine, says a little bit of freedom to choose what they want can be good.

“Talk to them about budgets,” Bodge says. “Say, ‘This is how much you have to spend. If you buy a $150 pair of sneakers that leaves you only X amount to buy your other things.'”

Bodge says if kids can see it all laid out on paper for them, they may be more appreciative of what they can buy with that budget.

“Make it a teachable moment as well,” she says.

Putting kids in a race to search for coupons and who can save the most is another way to get them involved while saving money, she says.

“If your child really wants something specific from their favorite designer, by all means, look for a coupon for it first,” Bodge says.

Then, of course, there’s the tech stuff.

“Kids often need flash drives to bring their homework assignments to school,” she says. “Some schools are even recommending that kids have tablets or laptops to do their assignments, working in the class or in the library.”

Once again, chasing coupons can pay off in the end.

“Even though you are needing to buy some of those higher-priced items for back-to- school, there are great savings to be had out there,” Bodge says.

WTOP’s Rosemary Frisino Toohey contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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