5 Expert Back-to-School Savings Tips All Parents Should Read!

The following is a sponsored post. While I was compensated for it, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own and in no way were influenced by the company.

What a struggle. You want your kids to look good heading back to the classroom, but times are really, really tight for some. One way we've saved is to really price compare and shop a variety of ways, over the entire school year.  And it seems we're not alone, zulily kids fashion expert Shawn Anderson shares some of our views and offers her best back-to-school fashion savings advice:

1. Plan in advance: Don’t wait until August 15 to start your back to school preparation. Avoid the stress of last-minute shopping by getting started now and finish before all the good deals are gone. (Miss the deadline? Don't worry. See the rest of the tips below and make up for lost time!)

2. Get organized: Pull together a back to school checklist so you don’t forget any of the necessities.

3. Shop online: Sites like zulily.com offer parents a wide variety of back to school essentials for kids, including clothes, shoes, accessories, supplies and toys, at incredible prices. You can find everything your kid needs (and more!) and save money at the same time.

4. Stockpile your favorite items at a discount: When you find something your child loves and needs each year for school at a great price, be sure to buy a few extra. Take advantage of these deals for years to come!

5. Check in with the kids: It is never a good feeling to buy your child new clothes and school supplies, only to find out that their favorite color or cartoon character has changed. Involve your kids in the shopping process so you make sure you’re buying items they like and want to use.

We took some of Shawn's advice this year and did a combination of all four. We also check out some of the styles featured at zulily.com.  I love that the offerings change every day, so if we don't see something we like one week, there is certain to be the perfect item at a great price the next. ( But I personally would NOT wait until the last minute for these deals. The hottest, best-priced items sell out fast!)

If you haven't shopped zulily.com, go check it out. Registration is free, but you do need to be a member to take advantage of the styles and sales.