Stretch your Dollar: Last-minute back to school shopping and looking ahead to the holidays

Stretch Your Dollar

(GMA) — Kids are heading back to the classroom this week, and as they do, you may be looking for last-minute supplies.

If you want to save, we are stretching your dollar with what to buy now and what may be less expensive down the road.

The National Retail Federation is saying families with students K-12 will spend $848 on school items this year. For college-aged kids, the number jumps to more than $1,200.

The biggest expense for parents is Electronics. Chromebooks are often the go-to for younger kids, so there are two deals from Walmart:

  1. A Lenovo touchscreen 11 inch model for $199, originally $309
  2. An Acer 11-inch Chromebook, also a touchscreen, for $168, down from $299

For college kids, the tech needs ramp up, so from, there’s a 15-inch Windows machine with 16 gigs of memory for $779, marked down $200.

When it comes to elementary school staples, Julie Ramhold with said, “If you’re looking to stock up for the whole year, the deals are out there.”

Deals include must-haves like backpacks. There are lots of basic but cute options on sale from $10-15 at Walmart. The actual school supplies, such as pens, pencils, notebooks, can be found at the dollar store for rock bottom prices.

And for art or creative supplies, Michaels has 20% off all regularly priced items.

Now, what not to wait on? Toys!

Ramold said, “If you start to see something disappear and you don’t want to risk it, it may be the year to not worry so much about the savings.”

A global shipping bottleneck has toymakers scrambling to transport inventory in time for the holidays. Yes, we’re talking holidays.

Isaac Larian, the CEO of MGA Entertainment, the fourth largest toy company in the world, is even warning of shortages and advising parents to not wait.

“There is going to be shortage of toys, you cannot extend the calendar,” said Larian. “If you want to buy toys for your kids for Hanukkah for Christmas…go to stores as soon as possible. “Don’t wait to the last minute; you won’t find it.”

And expect those supply chain issues to affect more industries beyond toys.

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