NEW YORK (MainStreet) School may already be back in session, but that doesn't mean back-to-school shopping is behind us.
According to the National Retail Federation, families with school-age children will spend about $630 on back-to-school shopping this year, with the majority of it going toward clothing, shoes and supplies. Families with college-age students, on the other hand, will spend closer to $830, primarily on electronics and dorm room furnishings.
But what do these numbers mean to you? And what if you were too busy enjoying the last fleeting days of summer to bother with back-to-school shopping in August? Don't despair. There are still deals to be had.
1. Take Advantage of Extended Sales for Supplies and Electronics
Considering back-to-school shopping is the second most profitable time of year for retailers, many stores drag out their sales even after the kids are back in school.
The most budget-conscious shoppers get started with back-to-school shopping in July, when the inventory is fresh and the markdowns are new. For procrastinators, the good news is that shopping in early September is almost as good as July. That's when the deepest discounts can be found as retailers look to clear out leftover inventory, especially school supplies and electronics.
2. Steer Clear of Fall Clothes, But Summer and Winter Apparel are Fair Game
September is a great time to stock up on summer clothes. And it can even be a good time to pick up winter staples from department stores looking to clear out last year's coats and sweaters.
But fall clothing will be in season and at it's priciest in September. If your child really needs new clothes for fall, try to make them wait until Columbus Day, when a new round of sales will begin.