Save money on your kids' school supplies

Consumer product specialist Carrie Lujan says families spend on average $100 a year for new school supplies for each child.

Here are some ways you can save money while getting your child what he or she needs before classes begin.

"Tip number one, you need to establish your budget," said Lujan. "Figure out how much money you have to spend, and then make a list of the items you need. And you really need to stick to that list. You can cross check it against the list given by your kid's school about what supplies they need for that grade level. Also, check it against the items you have in your house."

Lujan suggests looking for value packs while you're shopping.

"You can find pre-packaged items with a variety of schools supplies in them," said Lujan. "It may be tempting to buy that hundred count box of pencils or the twenty notebooks, but you only use a couple at a time and the rest wind up stashed in a drawer somewhere taking up space."

Tip three: check for quality.

"You want to check price, but you also want to check the zippers and stitching on the backpacks, so they will last for more than one school year."

Tip four: research. Check stores' advertisements and try to make one trip to buy all your kid's school supplies, including clothes.

"That way you're not wasting gas driving store to store looking for the best deal," said Lujan. "You can do one stop shopping, like here in the Glendale Galleria with Target and JcPenney. They have school supplies to accommodate kids from pre-school all the way through college."

Lujan's last tip is to get the kids involved in the shopping.

"Let them know what the budget is and let them get involved in the decision-making process," said Lujan. "Then they're going to learn the value of dollar and also they're going to be more excited about the items they purchased. If your kids love Hello Kitty, High School Musical, Hannah Montana, you can find so many books, binders, notebooks featuring that. They're going to be excited about using them in the classroom and they're not going to leave them on the playground."

It's getting tougher to make ends meet these days, and ABC7 On Your Side is a campaign to help you save money. Watch Eyewitness News for money-saving tips and freebies to help stretch your dollar. Get more money-saving tips from ABC7 On Your Side


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