School shopping made easy (and cheaper)
Online deal sites are sweetening deals on everything from gym socks to dorm fridges.
Well, summer's almost over -- sorry, kids, it is -- and online deal sites are offering some extra incentives, from higher cash-back shopping rates to 31 free iPads.
The cash-back site Mr. Rebates is giving away an iPad a day in August. Just go there and shop as usual; if you're a winner, you'll be taken to a special page. Mr. Rebates also has raised the cash-back rate as high as 32% for a number of stores. Students: If you're in the market for textbook rentals, you can get 5% off plus 7% cash back at Chegg.com.
- Bing: Rising textbook prices
- Rather Be Shopping has up to 90% off at Abebooks.com. Yowza!
- Savings.com features 40% off girls' jeans at Kohls, and hotels under $99 with an extra $20 off (what, you thought you'd be sleeping on your kid's dorm-room floor?).
- Ebates.com is offering 5% cash back at Textbooks.com and 6% at Barnes & Noble, plus higher-than-usual rates at stores that sell computers, school supplies and clothing.
- Over at FatWallet there's a free download of the Nookstudy e-book reader and a $58 compact fridge with 2% cash back plus free shipping -- you could have it sent straight to your freshman's dorm.
Target.com currently has free shipping for "home essentials" orders of $50 or more plus other discount codes, Holmes says. Or how about a semester's worth of personal-care products from Soap.com, which also offers free shipping?
"With so many (companies) running back-to-school deals every week, there's really no reason to pay full price for any of the school supplies on your list," Holmes says.
Here are a few more tips:
- Not sure where to start? Price-aggregator sites such as PriceGrabber.com or BizRate will give you the best prices. Then check online discount sites for discount codes to match.
- Browse site forums. Savings.com has an "Ask, Answer & Save" tool that lets you ask other readers for the hottest prices. Over at FatWallet, seasoned shoppers post combo deals -- sale price plus online discount code plus cash back -- in the "Hot Deals" section.
- Combine online discount codes with clearance prices. "The stuff is darn near free," says Kyle James of Rather Be Shopping. Recently his wife spent only $35 for three pairs of children’s jeans, six shirts and two sweatshirts at OldNavy.com.
- These deals aren't just for parents. If it's time to buy new shoes at Nordstrom or underwear and socks at Kohls, take advantage of the higher cash-back rates and codes for free shipping or additional discounts.
- Sales tax holidays are still available or coming soon in Connecticut (Aug. 15-21), Florida (through Aug. 15), Illinois (through Aug. 15), Maryland (through Aug. 14), Massachusetts (Aug. 14-15) and Texas (Aug. 20-22).
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