DENVER (CBS4) – According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend more than $75 billion on back-to-school supplies. Some estimates indicate that parents can spend as much as $600. If you’re not conscious of your budget, you can easily over spend.

“Try not to go into one store and buy everything,” said Kyle James, writer of the shopping blog, Rather-Be-Shopping.com.

Shopping Blogger Kyle James (Credit CBS)

Shopping Blogger Kyle James (Credit CBS)

LINK: Rather-Be-Shopping.com

Tip No. 1: Price-match: James said that sometimes office supply stores have really great deals on some of the basic school supplies. Then you can take the ad and price-match at nearly any store.

“You can take that ad into a Walmart or Target and if it’s the same brand, Walmart or Target will match that price,” James explained.

(Credit CBS)

(Credit CBS)

Tip No. 2: Avoid the Characters: James said that character backpacks and lunch bags are usually more expensive and sometimes not exceptional quality. He recommends getting a good quality plain backpack that will last all year.

“I have two daughters. We’ll buy a bunch of stickers and let them decorate those generic backpacks,” James told CBS4.

Tip No. 3: Take Advantage of Tech Deals: Back-to-school is typically a time for discounts on technology, laptops and tablets. But James says this isn’t the only time of year you can get a good deal.

“A lot of times we see really good deals in late September, early October on laptops. So if you don’t need a laptop right away, you might want to wait a little bit,” James said.

(Credit CBS)

(Credit CBS)

Tip No. 4: Leave the Kids at Home: James said that a parent’s No. 1 goal in school shopping should be shopping the deals and saving the most money. Taking your kids along may make them feel like part of the process but they’ll likely throw off your money-saving mojo.

“I also recommend, if you can, keep the kids at home, so you can go in and stay focused on your budget. Stay focused on the products that are the cheapest and not let your kids influence your buying decisions,” James said.

LINK: Rather-Be-Shopping.com Back-To-School Shopping Advice

Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.

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