Know where to look for back-to-school bargains

Looking for back-to-school bargains around South Florida? So are a lot of other folks.

According to a forecast by the Retail Federation of America, consumer spending will be 20 percent better this year than last. Consumers are expected to spend about $83.8 billion for supplies as their children to head back to school.

Families throughout South Florida have made back-to-school shopping a high priority so that their children start off the school year right. On average, they will be spending about $688 during the back-toschool period.

Carol Bernstein, owner of “Get Smart” store in Pinecrest, has noticed an improvement in business this year. She has seen an upward trend in sales at her store compared to prior years. Bernstein believes parents will continue to shop for their children, and won’t cut their shopping budgets any time soon. said the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Aeropostale have been offering some really great coupons for back- to-school clothes shopping. If you’re looking for supplies like pencils and paper, Staples offers many items free after a rebate, as well as helpful discounts on less-expensive backpack options. If you’re an online discount shopper, extra shipping charges may add up quickly. However, more and more stores are matching online prices at your request with a print out of your desired price point.

Here’s a list of other deals and tips I’ve compiled to keep your costs down on many back-to-school essentials: Accumulate extra rewards and save time by shopping online. It’s always a good idea to shop through an exclusive online portal, often allowing you to earn 5-20 percent cash back on your purchases. Discover has created ShopDiscover, which offers extra cash back rewards at over 200 different online retailers. Top retailers such as, The Container Store and will take part in the ShopDiscover site through Sept. 5, giving shoppers a chance to accumulate awards and save time. Visit for a complete list of merchants.

American Eagle has put all jeans on sale, and customers can get 50 percent off any top with an AE jeans purchase by using promo code 17144921 online. ShopDiscover cardmembers will get an additional 5 percent Cashback Bonus.

Guess is featuring 20 percent off with the promo code GTEENV both online and in-store as well. ShopDiscover cardmembers will get an additional 10 percent Cashback Bonus.

Kohl’s is featuring 20 percent off any in-store or online purchase. ShopDiscover cardmembers will get an additional 10 percent Cashback Bonus

For more back-to school Saturday deals, check out: 2012

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