ATLANTA - Channel 2's consumer advisor Clark Howard said having a plan this back-to-school season will save you time and money, and there are apps and websites that can help you do it.
Deal-finding expert Barbara Burns writes the blog Atlanta’s Frugal Mom. She told WSB-TV the best app for rebates is Ibotta.
“You'll see, like, a brand of glue might be on sale at Target, and if you search Ibotta, you might find that same brand of glue has an additional rebate,” Burns said.
Ibotta allows shoppers to search retailers for rebates. After you buy the item, scan your receipt to claim your savings.
Charis Brown, with ClarkDeals.com, said comparison shopping online is a great way to find deals. She recommends starting with Google Shopping.
“You might want to be careful though because a lot of times you’ll see some scammy websites come up,” Brown said. “You want to look at the rating of the online store and see: Is this a legitimate site?”
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If you’re an Amazon shopper, Charis said CamelCamelCamel will help you find the best prices.
“It shows you the history of the price of the item on Amazon,” she said. “So that's really great, to know: Was this price ever lower in the past? And you can say, ‘Well maybe I should wait,’ or ‘This is a really good deal right now. I'm going to go ahead and get it.’”
Charis also recommends dollar stores and said look out for the $5 off $25 coupons.
Barbara said checking for sales on Sunday both online and in the paper can yield big savings. “Office Depot, I know, is really good about having the dollar, 50-cent, quarter and penny deals,” she said. But she warned if you wait until Wednesday, many of the deals will be gone.
Both Charis and Barbara recommend looking in thrift stores for both supplies and clothes. Charis said one place you might want to avoid is the department store.
“They might be having some sales and things like that but you might find even better deals at stores like T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, stores, like, that that carry discounted merchandise,” Charis said.
And while you’re out shopping for this school year, don’t forget, kids grow. If you see a deal on a shirt, buy a few different size. Barbara said the same goes for supplies.
“If you know down the line they are going to need x, y and z, start stocking up,” Barbara said.
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