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Experts say there are ways to save on back to school shopping

Feed the Children's Elkhart Teacher's Store // WSBT 22
Feed the Children's Elkhart Teacher's Store // WSBT 22
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The average American family is going to spend about $700 on back to school shopping this year.

That's from retail experts making predictions on how the season will go.

Our back to school week team coverage continues with a look at how you can get the things your kids need without breaking the bank. WSBT 22's Brie Isom has been digging into ways to save.

Experts say finding deals starts with where you choose to shop. If you can plan ahead, experts recommend doing your shopping at several different stores.

They say you can watch ads for different stores in the weeks leading up to the start of school and pick up a few items at a time as they go on sale.

If you don't want to shop different stores, consider price matching. You can read store policies for price matching on its website.

Remember, you can shop online too!

Whether you shop online or in-store make sure to look out for coupons from both the manufacturer and the store at which you're shopping.

Also remember buying the off brand is OK, even if your child's school supply list asks for Crayola crayons, Kleneex or Clorox wipes. Often times those name brands are listed only because of familiarity instead of a must-buy rule.

Another important piece of advice, set a budget and stick to it!

It can also be tough for teachers to stick to a budget for their classroom. Many teachers spend hundreds of dollars each year getting supplies for their rooms.

Not only are you and your children shopping for school supplies for the year, but teachers are also buying supplies to make your child's learning experience more enjoyable.

A teacher’s store in Elkhart is saving teachers money by giving them supplies for free. This store helps 48 districts across the area.

The store is called Feed the Children's Elkhart Teacher's Store. The store caters to teachers in different districts in the area including Penn Harris, South Bend Community Schools and City of Mishawaka.

Each teacher has to be selected by their district in order to receive this school supplies. When teachers come to the store, they can select from anything in the warehouse. It's all free.

There's notebooks, children's books, pens, pencils, even backpacks.

The Elkhart Teacher's Store says teachers are taking out $350 to $400 of supplies every month.

The volunteer engagement supervisor says providing children and teachers with good supplies means students' will have more fun learning.

“I love what I do. I’m very committed to this program. I worked for Elkhart Community Schools for a very long time and I understand the need for. If a student comes and they don’t have the tools they need, they become disengaged immediately. They tend to not care,” said Darlene Anderson Wilson, volunteer engagement supervisor.

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The Elkhart Teacher's Store opens on September 10. The store is only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information, click here.

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