LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- We're in the dog days of summer, and the last thing you want to think about is back to school. But financial expert Mark Lamkin from Lamkin Wealth Management says now is the time to think about buying supplies and getting ready for the back to school shopping spree.  

Lamkin suggests five money saving ideas for back to school shopping.

1.  Think Backpack First

Before you stock-up on any school supplies for the upcoming school year, always pull out your child's backpack and empty it out. You'll be happily surprised how many items you'll discover that still have plenty of life left. By doing so, you'll avoid the sickening feeling of buying things like erasers, staplers, glue sticks, and notebooks only to discover perfectly acceptable versions in their backpack.

2. Set Price Alerts- Price matching

If you have a new laptop, scientific calculator, or other expensive tech item on your wish list, use time to your advantage and set up price alerts now, so you buy only when the price is at its lowest point. If you're an Amazon loyalist, I recommend www.CamelCamelCamel.com as an easy way to track price fluctuations. You simply sign-up for free, create price alerts for any product, and receive an email, when the price is right. They also have a free browser extension available, which gives you instant access to the price history of items sold by Amazon. This is worth examining before you set up your price alerts, so you know what price point to aim for.

3. Avoid Cartoon Characters

A great way to overpay during back to school shopping is to fall for the cute cartoon characters that adorn items like pencils, backpacks, lunch bags, binders, and notepads. They're typically 20%-30% more expensive than items with no characters on them. If your child absolutely has to have Dory on her new lunch bag or backpack, buy some stickers and let them decorate it themselves.

4. Consider Shopping Solo

An easy way to avoid the temptation of buying pricey Disney items is to leave the kids at home. Not only will it allow you to easily stick to your shopping list, but by shopping alone, the kids won't be able to throw you off your mission of finding and buying the best values.  Lamkin supports the idea of getting kids involved in  school shopping, since it often increases their excitement about the upcoming year.  But he says a great way to do that is when you get home from your shopping trip, not during. Once you return, get them involved in the sorting and organizing of all the stuff you bought, and they will typically get all fired up about school.

5. Find Great Deals Online

When it comes to finding online tech deals for items like laptops, desktops, and tablets, there are three sources you should definitely have bookmarked.

Dell University: When shopping online for a PC, Dell University has some excellent discounts exclusively for students. To take advantage, all you need to do is register for the free Dell Advantage program and provide the name of your school.

Apple Education Pricing: If an Apple computer is in your future, you'd be wise to check out their Educational Pricing page and save up to 25% off a new MacBook or iMac.

Best Buy College Student Deals: Once you've created a Best Buy account, you can sign-up for exclusive college student deals for computers, small appliances, and accessories like external hard drives and software. Current examples include $100 off a MacBook or iMac, $30 off a Keurig Brewer, and 20% off Samsung and LG microwave ovens.

By using these three little-known programs, you'll be able to get all of your tech needs at prices far below retail in many cases.

Lamkin Wealth Management
5151 Jefferson Blvd., Suite 102
901 Lily Creek Drive Ste. 102
office: 502-961-6550 Office
toll free: 866-961-6550
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member SIPC (sipc.org). For a list of states where Mark is registered to conduct business please visit www.lamkinwealth.com

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