The start of the school year is just around the corner, and you haven't shopped yet?
Don't fret. To get the best deals, it's all in the timing.
Need sweater? Wait until later in the fall. Backpacks? Hold off until late September, if you can.
"I think it is knowing and planning ahead of time. What am I going to need in the next six months?" said Kristin Cook, managing editor of Ben's Bargains, an online deal site that put together a list of the worst things to buy right now for the back-to-school season.
Of course, some discounters have consistently low prices. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which pushes everyday low prices, has launched extra discounts for the back-to-school shopping period.
Earlier this month, it launched thousands of new price cuts, including on the 10 most-searched items online so an assortment of $12.88 backpacks are now $7.
And you should take advantage of limited free shipping offers. Target Corp. is temporarily waiving the minimum purchase order of $25 for free shipping on all items until Saturday. However, oversized handling fees may still apply.
There are also other gimmicks. J.C. Penney, which operates 800 stores nationwide, is offering $10 haircuts for kids for grades kindergarten through sixth until Aug. 31.
You can also take advantage of tax-free back-to-school shopping. Seventeen states have such sales tax "holidays."
"Arm yourself with information," said Traci Gregorski, vice-president of marketing for research firm Market Track, which tracks promotions at various retailers. "Lots can be found on websites, apps and circulars."
Here are the best times to buy the following types of items: