Back-to-school savings tip: Trade your old stuff for big discounts

Kids going to School, July 23, 2012. Photo via MGN.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -In the rush to get everything you need for back to school, clothing and electronics are the priciest part, but hidden discounts could be lurking in your own closet.

Abigail Sanchez is starting high school this month, and she's spending nearly $250 on her back to school wardrobe.

"This summer I actually started to work so I could save up to buy school supplies and clothes," Sanchez said.

Parents plan to spend over $680 per child on back to school gear, and an estimated $189 on clothing alone according to data from RetailMeNot.

"Find coupons, find promotional codes, find free shipping offers, and cash-back offers," Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert for RetailMeNot said.

And one of the best ways to earn discounts and make room for a new school wardrobe is to donate clothing.

Over 40 brands participate in retail recycling programs, offering customers discounts when they bring in bags of used clothing, shoes, accessories, cosmetics containers, and even old technology.

H&M, the first global retailer to offer garment collecting in all of its stores, offers 15% discount voucher for each bag of clothing donated. And from August 9 to September 9, customers can get double the vouchers per donation, and there's no limit to how many times you can donate.

"You're giving back for a good cause, you're teaching your children something new, and then at the end of the day you're also saving money," Skirboll said.

The donated clothing gets sorted and re-made into new apparel.

Levis and Madewell give discounts on denim when shoppers bring in their old jeans.

And beyond clothing, Apple will offer store credit in exchange for an old device, and Best Buy will take 15% off HP Inkjet printers and ink when shopper bring in their old printer and cartridges.

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