COLUMBIA COUNTY -- It's about time to start filling up shopping carts with back to school supplies, while parents try to stay in budget.
Jodi Braden of Bloomsburg said her strategy to save is to keep it simple this year, and stick to only what's required.
"We look for things that fit the list but are functional, and are also a good price," Braden said.
School teacher Justine Zerbe is also getting her classroom ready and picked up bags of dollar supplies at Staples near Bloomsburg for her first grade students. She said her key to saving is to shop smart.
"Watch the fliers, come into the store, check out to see what they have and don`t be afraid to price compare," Zerbe said.
Staples store manager Jonathan Champion said, "We`re trying our best to help parents get the supplies they need for their kids at reasonable value. Your folders, your pencils, paper, things that people need for school."
Staples is one of many stores running back to school incentives. They say shopping this early gives consumers more of a selection. A savings passes program and a binder recycling program can also help save some bucks.
And for back to school bargain hunters it can`t get any better than finding one cent folders and other school supplies to help keep everyone in budget. But when it comes to big-ticket items like clothes and shoes, some shoppers like these at the Wyoming Valley Mall, still struggle.
Allison Fasulka is sending four of her five kids back to school this fall.
"They have separate play clothes than they do school clothes now and they have separate summer clothes than they do school clothes, so it`s a little bit more."
She found some steals and is strategically spending every dollar she has, buying only what she absolutely needs.
"Just keep it minimal in the beginning, you know just get it as we need it," Fasulka said.
It can take some time, but back to school bargains are waiting to be found.