Sure, it's still summer, but that doesn't mean you can't start stocking up for the beginning of the school year. And parents are always looking for the best ways to save as they shop for school essentials.
"The back-to-school shopping season is a close second to the holidays in terms of the amount of time and money consumers spend on retail goods -- same goes for the number of deals we see from stores," said Brandon Hunt, co-founder of DealScience.com, a technology company that helps consumers make better shopping decisions by comparing coupons from top deal sites.
Here, DealScience.com revealed the top ways parents can save this season.
1. Clothing: Before loading up on the hottest fashion trends of the season, understand how and when to shop. Traditionally, August was the best time for deals, but recently clothing sales have started in late July and last through mid-September. Stores like Lucky Brand, Levi's and Lee offer up to 80 percent off before the summer is even over, so now is the time to purchase a new pair of jeans, Hunt said. Gap and Old Navy often cut prices on school styles by 40 percent.
2. Shoes: "Every student likes to start the year with a new pair of kicks," Hunt said. Sites like Shoes.com and Famous Footwear offer special coupon codes and buy one, get one (BOGO) deals with short shelf lives. Shoppers should act quickly when they see a good shoe deal, he suggested.
3. Classroom supplies: Before you tackle your supplies list this year, be aware that many stores have already cut prices on supplies by up to 30 percent and/or are offering BOGO deals now, Hunt said. "Department stores like Kohl's and Target, and office supply stores such as Office Depot and Staples are among those that have great seasonal savings [although office supply stores tend to offer bigger discounts]," he said.
4. Department store savings: Most department stores have designated back-to-school sales that cover a wide-range of products, Hunt said. "For college students, in particular, now through mid-August is the optimal time to purchase items for your dorm room, like bedding, bath and decor." Macy's and JCPenney are offering up to 75 percent on many home goods items that are already on sale.