BACK-TO-SCHOOL SAVING & TRENDS FROM A TOP SHOPPING JOURNALIST CLAUDIA LOMBANA

Emmy & Peabody-Award Winning Journalist, Claudia Lombana Shares Timely Tips for Helping Parents Prepare for School on a Budget!

Going back to school used to be a simple matter of choosing pens, pencils and a lunchbox.  Now, getting your kids ready for school is a multiple choice quiz for deciding the best technology, fashions and trends to help make a student successful. From kindergarten to college, shopping expert Claudia Lombana is here to explain the hottest new trends and money-saving ideas for the new school year.

ABOUT: Claudia Lombana regularly shares her insight and expertise with national television audiences. She is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top shopping specialists, providing advice and data for media and major businesses.  Her tips and advice regularly appear in national publications, including The New York Times, USA Today and many others. The two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and Peabody Award winner provides advice on topics ranging from shopping trends to fraud protection. As a journalist, she has traveled the world covering news stories for CNN, CBS, FOX, Tech TV and E! News.

THE BEST WAYS TO STAY ORGANIZED
The key to being organized is to plan ahead and have the right systems in place. My new favorite item for this right now is these GeckoTech® Reusable Hooks that are ideal for helping parents – and kids – stay organized. The revolutionary hooks are made with micro-suction technology which allow them to securely adhere to surfaces with no damage.  You can use GeckoTech Hooks® to hang up coats and book bags. The hooks can also be reused and reapplied to painted surfaces, glass, stainless steel and tile. Students can easily hang their book bags, totes and jackets on these hooks for a quick grab-and-go before school. They are also great for organizing and accessorizing dorm rooms with dry-erase boards, calendars and more.

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UNIQUE BACK-TO-SCHOOL IDEA THAT WILL SURPRISE
UpromiseA recent survey said that almost 45 percent of parents begin their back-to-school shopping online.  So, my top tip is to save by shopping smart online, using a rewards site like Upromise.com by Sallie Mae. It is a free-to-join rewards program with a mission of helping families save for college by doing things they do every day.  Shoppers earn real cash rewards that can be put towards repayment of an eligible student loan, a Sallie Mae high-yield savings account, eligible 529 college savings plans or even cash back in the form of a check.

With 850+ online retail partners such as Staples, Dell, Macy’s, Gap and more, families can earn rewards for college while shopping for things they need. Members have already earned $850 million in cash for college since the program began.

For more information visit: www.Upromise.com

SUGGESTIONS FOR KEEPING OUR STUDENTS HEALTHYphilips1
philips_logo A great product that will keep your older kids smiling.  Parents want to make sure that their high school and college-aged kids are armed with a good oral care routine. Philips Sonicare Power Up, from the #1 dental professional recommended power toothbrush brand, comes at a great value. Philips Sonicare Power Up offers more brush strokes in a day than a regular manual toothbrush provides in a month of use. You help your kids achieve healthier teeth and gums, all for less than $15.

For more information visit: www.USA.Philips.com

WHAT’S HOT FOR CLOTHES
Nautica has the perfect options for your little ones to kick off the new school year!  Check these out, for example. Here, for our girls, we have a Cornflower Blue Nautica anchor tee with an adorable pink sparkly bow, 100% cotton, which retails for $20, along with this ultra-comfortable dark skinny denim for $36.50. This outfit is super versatile and perfect to take your child from the classroom to the playground. For the boys, we have a classic Cobalt plaid button down that comes with a pair of dark indigo boot cut denim all for $52.50. This outfit will make your little tot look tailored and sophisticated with its fashion forward cut and bold color.

The Nautica kids’ collection covers every closet essential, from casual sportswear for vacation and play to special occasion styles and school uniforms. You can buy in stores or online.

For more information visit: www.Nautica.com

NATIONAL RETAIL FOUNDATION (NRF) SCHOOL 2014 CHEAT SHEET

Spending jumps 5% – Knowing full well their growing children need new items for school, and after having cut back last year, mom and dad will spend an average of $670 on their K-12th grade students. It’s likely families are already taking advantage of retailers’ bundles available online and in stores, as well as those coupons that have been arriving in the mail the last few days.

Millennial power – High school students born in the late ‘90s are proving they have more than just power over influence, they have spending power. Teenagers will spend $913 million on their own school items. These teenagers
could be part of the reason the data shows expected traffic at specialty stores over discount and department stores.

Early birds sleeping in this year – Fewer parents may be biting at the early summer deals, but 1 in 5 still say it’s completely worth their time to shop at least two months before school starts. Millennials are a lot more likely to want to gauge fashion trends after school starts, dragging mom and dad back to the stores or online once they’ve got some ideas.

Mobile shopping on the rise – 37% of shoppers will research school items with their smartphones, the highest seen since NRF started asking in 2011. These families will also commit to purchasing via their phones – 22% will purchase items, up from 18% last year

Dads have pocket power – Dads will spend an average of $754.30 on school items for their tweens and teens, up 12% from last year. Dads are also a lot more likely than mom to spend more on school supplies, apparel and, of course, electronics. Additionally, men much prefer the convenience of online shopping: 46% of men will shop online, compared to just 31% of women.