The 2013-14 school year is here, which means the annual shopping spree that can cost parents hundreds of dollars, is in full swing. To make shopping a little easier, many states are offering breaks on sales tax, while big box stores are rolling out special deals on school supplies. Click through to check out how to save on electronics, clothes and school supplies.
Pencils, binders and notebooks can quickly add up. That's why many states are waving the tax on school supplies and clothing for a limited period of time. You can find a list of states participating in this year's sales tax holidays on the
Federal Tax Administrators' website. Click through to see more.
Buying a computer might be one of the biggest back-to-school expenses but it doesn't have to burn a hole in your wallet. August is the best month to shop for computers, according to
Bankrate and Business Time. At Best Buy and J&R, you can find Lenovo Notebooks for $489 and Asus Laptops for $350. You can also look for discounted new and used computers on sites such as Slickdeals and Dealnews.
August is also the best month to get deals on name-brand printers, according to
Dealnews. At Staples you can get an all-in-one printer for under $150. Check out Amazon for discounted printers and search on Dealnews and Slickdeals for the lowest prices from different sellers.
Is your child taking a math class that requires a graphing calculator? It can cost up to $100. Luckily
Amazon sells basic ones for as little at $46.
For the cheapest basic school supplies head to your local discount variety stores where notebooks, pens and pencils sell for as low as $1. Look for the nearest
99 Cent Store, Dollar Tree , Jack's 99 Cent Store or Family Dollar for discounted school supplies. Big chain stores also have good deals. At Walmart a pack of 4 notebooks is $6 and a pack of 4 glue sticks sells for $4. Kmart has binders for just $2.68.
Now that all the supplies are purchased, a sturdy backpack is a must to carry it all.
JC Penney is cutting the price of its backpacks by up to 40 percent, while Sears and Kmart are slashing their prices by 20-30 percent.
For families on a budget, buying school uniforms on top of other school supplies means an additional burden. JCPenney, Walmart and Old Navy are offering some great bargains.
Walmart is selling uniforms starting at $5.57, JC Penney has t-shirts starting at $8 and Old Navy is selling boys and girls uniforms for as low as $5.
Jeans offer a practical and stylish option for children of all ages and waiting until October to buy them may be well worth it, according to
Real Simple and Business Time. Retailers often cut 30-60% off their regular retail price in October to get rid of their leftover inventory. If you want to invest in brand-named jeans, Lucky Brand, Lee and Levi's jeans cut 30-80 percent off their items from mid-July to mid-August, according to Dealnews.
August and early September is the best time to look for clearance deals at popular clothing stores, according to
Dealnews. Last year, brands like Abercombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters and Aeropostale cut an extra 30-50 percent off their clearance items during those months and chances are they'll do that again this year. Target, JC Penney, Kohl's and Kmart have already rolled out impressive bargains.
No discounts, however, will beat prices at
Schoola Stich. The site offers parents a new way to shop for gently used children's clothes and promises "crazy low" prices—as much as 70 to 90 percent off retail on clothes from Abercrombie kids, Gap Kids, Gymboree, Hanna Andersson, J.Crew, Nike and Old Navy.
For tips on how to keep clothes looking brand new, visit
The Cleaning Institute. THey will show you how to tackle stains and gum on your kids uniforms and shoes.
And let's not forget about shoes! The best time to buy sneakers is in January and April, but
Slickdeals and Dealnews will help you find discounted kicks in time for the first day of school. Payless is holding a back to school sale where girls' flats are priced as low as $15 and boys' sneakers are only $16.99.