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Published July 23, 2013, 07:48 PM

School is only a few weeks away, how to save money and time shopping

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- It's hard to imagine that we are only weeks away from the first day of school, but that's reality.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- It's hard to imagine that we are only weeks away from the first day of school, but that's reality.

With the big day nearing, it might be terrifying, but a good idea to start thinking about your back to school shopping.

Known as one of the biggest shopping events next to Christmas, back-to-school shopping hit a record average of 689 dollars for families with school-age kids for items like clothing and school supplies.

Janet Feil- "Back to School Shopping: School shopping always sneaks up on me every year, i'm never ready."

The Village Financial Counselor Duane Emmel says the average family spends about 2 to 3 hundred per child.

Duane Emmel- Financial Counselor at The Village: "It could amount to a lot of money."

Emmel says before heading out, it's important for parents like Janet Feil to do an inventory of clothes and school supplies left over from last year.

Emmel: "We might find out that we're saving ourselves some money, that we don't have to go out and make that purchase, also taking the inventory allows us to buy only what's necessarily right now."

And when you get a list, stick with it.

Emmel: "Put that all together so you're only buying what the instructor wants and also what you need."

You'll also want to do some comparison shopping, and set a budget.

Emmel: "There's specials going on probably week after week."

As always back to school means back to the mall, which means this place is going to fill up fast.

Janet Feil- Back to School Shopping: "It's not the place i want to be on a lovely summer day."

Janet and her daughter Jordan know the importance of hitting the stores ahead of the rush.

Jordan Feil- Back to School Shopping: "As a teenager it's easier to find things you want and not have to pick what's already been picked through."

As of now the shelves are fully stocked, so you might want to hit the stores to get the early bird sales before the bell rings.

Back-to-school spending is expected to top 26-billion-dollars this year.

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