TODAY   |  August 27, 2013

Keep back-to-school shopping bills low

Don’t rack up a huge bill shopping for your kids’ school supplies. Lifestyle expert Elizabeth Mayhew shares some tips for getting the best bang for your buck.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning we're kicking off a special series back to school today's bargain bonanza. your guide to the most money saving secrets. she is going to help us get started with overall advice on what to buy where and how to save big.

>> good morning.

>> i was surprised and maybe even shocked at how much americans spend on back to school shopping.

>> it is second only to the holiday shopping season. it's big money . if you add back to college and back to school together, we're talking over 72 billion. so you want to save every penny you possibly can.

>> i have seen advertisements for back to school savings. some kids are already in school .

>> shop slowly. take your time. back to school shopping started very early this year and that is because retailers are realizing that people are taking much longer to buy things, especially when it comes to fashion. a lot of kids want to get to school and see what the fashions are and make sure they're buying the right stuff compared to their friends so you'll benefit by waiting a little bit.

>> speaking of comparing, that's the first tip. there's a great website that does the work for you.

>> is a fantastic website and it actually compares -- you just get an app. it's free on your phone. lit tell you the best place to buy it. you might be looking for sharpies at target but you can find them at staples for 5.99. it will save you 15 to 20% on your purchases.

>> the next tip is social media sites, the one you like is

>> i'm going to say you're crazy if you don't join ebates. i have been doing it for a year and i have received $500 back.

>> how does it work?

>> you go to ebates and look for the store you're shopping. everything from j. crew , to ebay, living social. and they give you a percentage back on what you buy. take for example, graphic tees over there. go to through ebates and get 6% back on what you spend and they'll tell you what the big sales are. graphic tees have a special. you'll get that special and if you spend $50 or more you'll get free shipping. so it all compounds. what it does is a quarterly time you're going to get a check back to you, sent to you and if you're worried about it i want to say it was started by two deputy district attorneys who prosecuted online fraud . so you're going to be okay.

>> good site. good to go through.

>> four

>> it's local. it's going to tell you what the deals are right now. for example, you can click on and get a discount off of skechers. you check into the app and get that discount.

>> has the cart wheel site?

>> if you're a target shopper sign up for cart wheel . it will give you ten slots. go through all the deals. it's like clipping coupons. it's all digital. you take the coupons, these deals, put them into your slots. when you go to check out you show your phone to the cashier and they read one bar code and all the discounts come off.

>> if you're a big target shopper this is worth your while.

>> and the more you shop and the more you recommend cartwheel and deals the more you get.

>> if you go for the first time, you're a first time buyer you might get a discount.

>> you might not think about shopping there for back to school discounts but a first time shopper there will give you a 20% discount for being the first time shopper and if you go to ebates you get another discount on top of that.

>> you said spend money to save money.

>> like amazon prime is an example of that where you spend $79 to get free shipping and other free stuff. staples, if you buy their back to school savings card for $10 you get 15% off through september 21st .

>> thank you so much. we'll do back to school styles tomorrow on today.