Tip of the Week

Back-to-school season is in full swing and parents are busy completing their shopping lists. Between new books, school supplies and the latest gadgets, sticking to a back-to-school budget is no small feat. Financial columnist, broadcaster and author Peter Dunn, known nationally as “Pete the Planner,” has some great, deal-savvy shopping tips to help you find the best values and save money during this back-to-school shopping season.

“As a father to two children, I understand how expensive back-to-school shopping is and how important it is to uncover the best values,” says Dunn. “Saving money during this shopping season requires a thoughtful plan to avoid overspending. Being budget-efficient is not always easy, but it’s worth it and will make a big difference in your life.”

Here are five tips from Dunn for parents looking to uncover the best back-to-school deals:

1. Host a back-to-school swap: Gather other parents for a back-to-school swap. Encourage them to bring school-related items they no longer need, including clothes, sports equipment, backpacks, books and supplies. Not only is it a great opportunity to help save a little cash, you can get rid of any unused items you have as well.

2. Save on the necessary tools: According to a recent survey conducted by Straight Talk Wireless, nearly 90 percent of students and parents say mobile devices are essential for educational success during the school year.

3. Shop local: It’s easy to default to buying school supplies online out of convenience, but traditional brick-and-mortar stores have become increasingly competitive for your dollars. In fact, many stores will match online prices if you show them the same item is available online for less.

4. Set a budget: Like holiday shopping, it’s best to approach back-to-school shopping with an established budget for each child. Pre-determine what you’re going to spend on the essentials such as backpacks, supplies, clothes, shoes and technology so you’re less likely to overspend when purchasing. This could also be a powerful lesson for older children, so consider including them in some decision-making and buying processes if you feel they’re ready for it.

5. Plan ahead: If you know your child will have school-related expenses later in the year (e.g., athletic equipment or a class trip), begin saving for them now. The more you’re able to save ahead of time, the less stress you will feel when the time comes to pay for the expense.

As you continue back-to-school shopping, remember these easy tips to find the best value and maximize savings.

— Brandpoint

Family Movie Night

“Unbroken: Path to Redemption”

Rated: PG-13

Length: 98 minutes

Synopsis: This is a spiritual sequel to the 2014 film “Unbroken,” although none of the original cast returns. The film chronicles Louis Zamperini following his return from World War II and his conversion to evangelical Christianity after attending one of Billy Graham’s church revivals.

Book Report

“Presto & Zesto in Limboland”

Ages: 4 - 8 years

Pages: 28

Synopsis: This is a never-before-published picture book collaboration between Caldecott Medal-winning authors Maurice Sendak and Arthur Yorinks. The marvelous tale tells the story of two friends, Presto and Zesto, and how they find themselves lost in the magical, mysterious place called Limboland.

Did You Know

According to the U.S. News and Reports, the beginning of the school year is an ideal time for children to get vision and hearing screenings. Vision and hearing loss can come on gradually and approximately 20 percent of children need corrective lenses. Rates of hearing problems are increasing in teens, likely due to headphone use, so hearing screening is now recommended for adolescents. Studies have shown that uncorrected vision and hearing problems can directly affect children’s ability to pay attention and learn in class, affecting grades and even ultimately graduation rates.

— More Content Now