17 Tips for Saving on Back-to-School Shopping

The start of a new school year represents a new beginning for students and parents. But for many budget-conscious families, it also represents a financial challenge. According to the National Retail Federation, the average family with school-age children will spend $669 on back-to-school items, up about 5 percent from last year. The total includes school supplies, clothing and electronics.

But even for your must-buys -- your kids have grown and need new clothes; the school mandates certain supplies; and the computer you bought for the kids four years ago spends more time frozen than the ice cream you bought last week -- there are ways for smart, organized shoppers to save serious money:

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