Tips on how to save money with back-to-school shopping - KCTV5

Tips on how to save money with back-to-school shopping

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The new school year is just around the corner, and students, parents and teachers are scrambling to get ready.

Tessa Ribble didn't want to wait for tax-free weekend to knock out her daughter's back-to-school shopping. She and her children spent Friday afternoon shopping at Nashville West.

"We needed a lot of notebooks, we needed graphing paper this year, we needed composition books with graphing in it," Ribble said.

Tennessee's tax-free weekend is still a week away, but school supplies are already flying off the shelves at the Dollar General in Madison.

"It's huge. Families are gearing up to go back to school. Everyone needs to go out and buy notebooks and buy pens and paper," said Dan MacDonald, spokesman for Dollar General.

Driving the demand is deep discounts. Stores have already started slashing prices on school supplies by 10, 20 and even 50 percent.

Dollar General's new discount coupons put deals right at customers' fingertips.

"What you do is you go online and you register and then what you can do is tie it to your phone number, your cell number, so you don't have to carry all the paper and clip all the coupons. You can do it online," MacDonald said.

Shoppers can then go to any Dollar General store, plug their cell phone number in at checkout and the coupons will be pulled up automatically.

Target has also rolled out an app named Cartwheel. Through the app, customers can pull up coupons, scan bar codes and even search for deals on their smartphones and then just pull them up at the register.

Those who want to pay some of their savings forward can use Target's VISA debit card.

"Through that we give back to the communities that we serve 5 percent of everything that we get through those programs, so it actually gives back to the schools here in the local community," said Brandon Sather, manager of the Target store on White Bridge Road.

These high-tech deals are getting high marks from shoppers like Sharon Hannan, who plans to take advantage.

"Anytime you can use your purchase to help somebody who's maybe having a tougher time, we're always on board for that," Hannan said.

Tennessee's tax-free weekend begins Friday, Aug. 1, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 3.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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