Advice and sites to help parents and students ace the test on saving money for school supplies

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - For most kids in the Tennessee Valley, the new school year begins August 5th.

The rush is on for parents to get their kids what they need to succeed in the classroom and WHNT NEWS 19 is taking action to help parents succeed in saving money in the process.

Perhaps the best supplies any parent or student could have right now are the nearest internet connection and maybe a smart phone.

There are all kinds of deals for supplies for public schools and we found one place that has what homeschoolers need too.

It's an exciting time of year for children: new classes, new friends and new school supplies.  Of course, for parents it means new bills.

Here are a few bits of money-saving advice from experts at    They recommend you buy in bulk for the whole year on paper, pencils, notebooks and other things to save money.

Also, give your kids a budget to spend and hold them to it.

If your child must wear a uniform, go online to find it or reach out to see if you can swap or trade with another family.

While you're online, check out  By using that site,  you can avoid long waiting lines and traffic jams and get deep discounts on clothes.  Plus, there's a cash-back incentive, saving you even more money.

Another site to check out is It gives you all kinds of money-saving coupons you can use online or take with you if you prefer in-store shopping.

We know hundreds of children won't be leaving their homes for school due to the fact they are home-schooled.  But learning at home also requires supplies.

Cathy Jaime set up just the place for homeschooling families looking to save money.

She's the owner of Creative Learning Connection in Madison, which is stocked with dozens and dozens of shelves and tables of pre-owned books and materials.

And, being a mother of 12, she's all about saving money.

"I would say the average price of things in here runs about 50 percent off of the retail price," said Jaime.

Her store is typically open Tuesday through Thursday only, but this week will be open Friday and Saturday so parents can take advantage of the other big money-saving event: the taxfree holiday weekend.

Thanks to the state government, residents can get a break from state taxes on select school supplies, computers, and clothing from midnight Friday through midnight Sunday.

Click here for the guidelines of who is participating in the tax-free weekend and what items are discounted.

One more thing to keep in mind:  always ask if the store honors discounts specifically for "back to school".  The same goes for teachers.  Some clothing stores offer discounts specifically to teachers to help them with their wardrobe.

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