CLEVELAND - Getting everything kids need to head back to class is important. That's why the back to school shopping season is the second biggest, right behind the winter holidays. And with the shaky economy, consumers are looking for ways to get the most bang for their buck.
The National Retail Federation laid out its Top 10 Back-To-School Trends for 2011. First, parents are spending where they need to and saving where they can.
That means kids might be re-sharpening the pencils from last year and wearing those old jeans that still fit. But, if it's something that's needed, parents will spend the money on it. Plus, it's more about the best deal than the lowest price tag.
Ellen Davis with the National Retail Federation says, "This year's theme for back to school is not necessarily finding the best price, it's about finding the best value, and so you're going to see a lot of retailers talking about quality merchandise, or being able to have an extended warranty on something, in addition to good prices."
Also, it's not all about cashing in on the early deals this year. Nearly a third of parents plan to wait until a week or two before class starts to shop, up 25% from last year.
And discount stores aren't the only places luring in back to school shoppers. Department stores will see more traffic than they have in years, and folks will also hit electronics, clothing, and drugs stores for back to school shopping.
Finally, don't forget to use your smartphones and computers. A lot of people are expected to do all of their shopping at home, or use their smartphones in the stores!
For a full list of the Nation Retail Federation's Top 10 Back-To-School Trends for 2011, click here .