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Back-to-school necessities will cost about 2% more than last year

Top Stories in Dallas - Fort Worth, August 1
Top Stories in Dallas - Fort Worth, August 1 02:10

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - If you haven't started your back-to-school shopping yet, be prepared for sticker shock when you do. Even though everything is more expensive, there are some ways you can save.

As shopper and mom Vanessa Gonzalez knows, the items add up quickly.

"Now it's $150 for school, the shoes. Everything is really, really expensive," she said.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average family will be spending $864 this year to send their child back to school - about 2% higher than last year. And, while shoppers are concerned with inflation, back-to-school shopping is considered a "necessary" cost for most families. So how do you do it without breaking the bank?

One way to save is to wait until tax-free weekend, which is Aug. 5 to Aug. 7. Most clothes, shoes, and back-to-school supplies under $100 will be exempt in Texas.    

At Apricot Lane at the Galleria Dallas, store manager Carol Hall said they're offering rare discounts to coincide with back-to-school and tax-free weekend.

"We're doing sales to drive our business and show all of our new products and anything that we currently had before and make everybody feel fashion-forward when they go back to school," she said. 

Holly Quartaro of Galleria Dallas suggested making a list before you shop so you stick to your budget. She also recommended following your favorite retailers online and signing up for their newsletters. 

"Because they often offer special deals to their customers and their subscribers where you can get extra savings or discounts just by being a loyal shopper," she said.

One more tip: think about what your kids already own, and what they will - and won't - need immediately. 

"Here in Texas, our summer season stretches well into the fall," Quataro said. "So some of those clothing items or kids have been wearing all summer, if you just style them differently or add a layer, they can definitely be school-appropriate."

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