Back-to-School Challenge: Local moms show you how to save on school shoes this season

Coupons & rewards vs. up-front pricing

CLEVELAND - In our final mom-challenge for back to school shopping, we sent our two local moms searching for deals on shoes for their kids.

We wanted to compare a mall-type department store to a discount chain. So, we sent Rachel Krych to a JCPenney's on Cleveland's west side and Danielle Weiler to a Walmart on the east side.

"My kids are very hard on shoes," explained Weiler.  That's why Walmart can be appealing to a family like Weiler's. "For me, if you could find shoes between the $15 to $25 price range, you're probably going to get a good quality shoe and then the price isn't crazy," said Weiler.

At that price point, Walmart carries the Starter brand, And 1 shoes, plus just recently it started selling Avia which has been well-rated by several websites and customer reviews. Weiler even found clearance options for $7 to $9 on shoes with clearance boots running $7 to $10. 

If you like to buy online, you can save that way, too. "When you have it shipped to our store, there's no shipping and handling charge like there would be if you would send it to your house," said Walmart Zone Merchandise Supervisor Jodi Thornton.

If you are looking to step into other name-brand shoes, Krych was ready to go toe-to-toe in this challenge. JCPenney's lined up the savings especially in the clearance section. We saw $10 price tags, $11 on others, and even Nike's had their prices dropped by 50 percent on clearance. "You can't beat that,” said Krych.  “When you use it on top of a coupon, it just blows most of their competitors out of the water," she added.

At JCPenney's, you can sign up for emails and text alerts for more discounts. There's a rewards program offering coupons and everyday ads that have savings as well.  "$10 off $25 (spent) coupons, 20 percent off with your Penney's card, 15 percent shopping events (and) appreciation,” said JCP Store Leader in Avon Brad Krugman.  “So, plenty of ways to come in and save. There are door busters night to day," Krugman added.

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