Back to school tips and tricks from moms shopping for deals

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The back to school aisles are swarming with parents and students. Some stores are even out of a few things.

April Ham is trying to beat the rush, but it might be too late. She’s got her school supplies list in one hand and kids in tow in the other, “We are having a little trouble finding the folders with the brad’s and the pockets,” said the Lago Vista mom of three as she looked at her list Sunday afternoon. 

Gina Rahbari has hit a snag too, “It’s been kind of hectic.” The mom is shopping for her kindergartner and 8th grader. “She needs some supplies that we can’t get in the store we have to go somewhere else to get,” explained Rahbari.

The moms say they’ve learned to think of back to school shopping like Black Friday. They say have a game plan, know your list and do a quick online search for deals. 

“Buying in bulk and splitting the bill with some of your kid’s friend’s parents is the best way to save money on school supplies, “said shopping expert Sara Skirboll with RetailMeNot  “… like pens, pencils, sharpies and markers,” 

RetailMeNot is an online savings website with back to school coupons. Skirboll says parents can also save by waiting “I get asked a lot if the tax-free weekend is a good time to buy and the answer is yes!”

This year’s sales tax holiday begins Friday, Aug. 10th, and goes through midnight Sunday, Aug. 12th. You can buy most clothing, school supplies and certain backpacks tax free.

Skirboll said families can save up to 2 percent if you wait until then. 

RetailMeNot says on average parents will spend $635 on each student and that includes supplies, clothes and electronics.