Use comparison-shopping engines to find the best bargains online, suggests Michael Rowland, Internet marketing manager at Solid Cactus, a company in Shavertown, Pa., that helps small businesses sell online.
"Online retailers are going to be aggressive in their efforts to win your business. So one of the best ways a savvy shopper can capitalize on the best deals is to use (comparison-shopping engines)," says Rowland.
Each engine is different -- from the products they show to how they sort the products. Some are better for apparel while others have the best buy in electronics. Rowland says to get the best use of a shopping site, be specific in your search.
"Make your buying decision based on price, rating and shipping costs," says Rowland. "Always look for free shipping."
Rowland suggests starting with these sites: Pricegrabber.com, Shopping.com, Nextag.com, Google.com and Amazon.com.
If you follow the brands you use and the stores you regularly shop on Facebook and Twitter, you'll also attain back-to-school savings. Sign up for mailing lists for these brands and stores, and you'll often get instant savings of coupons, Rowland says.