By Woman's Day Staff
Start the school season off right with budget-pleasing pointers. Photo by Getty Images
1. Wait for penny deals Retailers like OfficeMax often run back-to-school deals on supplies like spiral notebooks and highlighters, ranging from just a penny to 20¢. Check weekly circulars to see what's on sale.
2. Ask for a coupon code Online customer service agents can share discounts and promotions that you might not know about. Chat with a representative before you click to purchase.
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3. Shop secondhand Need a costly gadget like an external hard drive or a graphing calculator? Order a gently used or refurbished one from Amazon Warehouse Deals to save up to 40%.
4. Don't miss a deal Use a comparison shopping tool like Hukkster.com to track prices. Download the Hukk It button and you'll receive an email when the item you want goes on sale.
5. Streamline your schedules Free calendar apps like the one from Cozi.com let you sync family events, so you'll never get hit with no-show fees for missing appointments like the dentist.
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6. Follow retailers "Like" your favorite stores on Facebook to learn about sales and contests. Last year Target held a student video contest with prizes ranging
You may not be able to trim college tuition, but you can save on other costs with these smart tips.
7. Choose a meal plan that works with your child's schedule. If he's enrolled in evening classes, select a plan that allows for takeout bags or lets you convert unused meals to campus cash.
8. Keep more money in your pocket by checking the school's housing website for the rules on allowable appliances and furniture. For instance, some dorms don't allow microwaves or the building of loft beds.
9. Present a valid student ID at retail stores. Many offer price breaks. (Save 15% at J.Crew and up to $200 off a new Mac at Apple.) If a discount isn't advertised, just ask!
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10. Send your student off to school with a prepaid Visa gift card to use for incidentals. When the funds run out, you don't have to worry about overdraft fees!
SOURCES: Kati Chevaux, editor, Cozi.com. Candace Corlett, president, WSL Strategic Retail. Jodi Furman, author, LiveFabuLESS.com. Julie Mayfield, author, TheFamilyCEO.com. Andrea Woroch, consumer savings expert. Jeff Yeager, author, The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches.
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