Students and parents talk to NBC 7 reporter Consumer Bob about looking for deals now that they're heading back to class.
David Trevizo walked through the aisle at Walmart looking for binders and pens. The high school sophomore starts school tomorrow in Chula Vista. Not far away, school teacher Maria Hoover loaded up on markers. Hoover said now is a good time to find bargains.
"I'm shopping for school stuff for my class," Hoover said.
While school doesn't actually start for weeks for many students, back to school bargains are already filling the shelves. Walmart started setting up its special school supply bins two weeks ago.
The back to school shopping season is one of the busiest times of the year in the retail world. Many stores are offering deep discounts, even loss leaders, to get shoppers in the the door.
Bargain shoppers said now is a good time to take advantage of the supply and the prices, even if school won't start for another month or two.
Besides discount stores like Walmart and Target, department stores like Macy's and JC Penny are setting up for school shoppers.
But traditional retail stores aren't the only place to look for deals: Thrift stores are busy just before school as well. Cheryl Masters shops with her children at Goodwill.
"You can find fantastic name brands for just a fraction of the price," Masters said.
Kelly Hallet was looking there for clothes with her daughter, Georgia. She said you may not find exactly what you came into the store looking for, but you will rarely walk away empty-handed.
"Every time I find one or two things for her," Hallet said.
The key for back to school shopping is to get an early start, make a list and shop around. For parents who want to save money, the deals are out there; it just takes a little work to find them.