PALM DESERT, Calif. - Parents are spending the last few days before school starts hitting the stores and taking advantage of back-to-school shopping deals. This time of year has become the largest consumer-spending season behind holiday shopping.
Kelly Selle is among the millions of parents looking to save this school year. "It can get pretty costly, but coming here, everything is a dollar. It makes life a lot easier and I usually shop around and I look at the ads," said Selle.
Mary Miller is a single mom. "School starts on Monday for my kids," said Miller.
With her kids' supply list in hand, Miller headed to Walmart to save.
"It's really according to grade level. He's in first grade and she's in eighth grade, so it's different lists every year," said Miller.
Between clothes, pencils and glue, the National Retail Federation estimates that parents spend about $700 per child, per year on school supplies. That breaks down to an average of $246.10 on clothes, $129.20 on shoes, $217.88 on electronics and $95.44 on supplies.
Miller says, "With the economy right now, it's much more, the prices are higher."
It's no wonder budge-conscious parents are looking for a bargain.
Salle says, "I have to cap it, so she got a $100 to spend at the outlets."
Retailers are taking notice, offering discounts that rival Black Friday, according to personal shopping website "Shop It To Me."
Zaida Bedell was out shopping Thursday with her granddaughter. "Back to school shopping is pretty good at the 99 Cents store because the pencils are great, the markers are great. For the younger ones, the crayons are wonderful, it's all at the right price."
Salle says, "If you can't come to a place where you can afford, how are kids supposed to get their school supplies?"