By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s August, and that means back-to-school shopping is in full swing.

The average family is expected to spend $636 on back-to-school clothes and supplies this year. If you’re looking for some ways to save some money, 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan teamed up with the retail shopping experts at, who examined back-to-school pricing trends.

What should you buy now, and what should you buy later? When it comes to buying jeans, editor Lindsay Sakraida says now is the time to act. In fact, you may be able to snag discounts of 40-60 percent. According to Sakraida, “Mid-August, typically, is when we see the best discounts on jeans. After that point, the sales are a little more mediocre. We’re seeing these sales from Levis, Lee, a lot of other brands that are popular with young people, brands from major retailers as well.”

Backpacks are part of any back-to-school shopping list. Sakraida says, “In the past few years, we’ve seen backpacks drop to as low as $10, which is a great deal.”

Even office supply stores are offering backpack deals along with specials on other school essentials. According to Sakraida, “A lot of these office supply stores will offer very cheap items, like pens for a few cents, lots of paper that’s almost free after rebate, to try and get you in stores to buy other things.”

But if you’re thinking of getting a small TV for your kid’s dorm room, hold off until next month. Sakraida says, “For the past few years we’ve seen better prices on 32 inch TVs if you wait until September. They’re even better than Black Friday prices, so if you want to get the best price you possibly can, if you just wait another month, you can order online and send it to your student.”

For more information from the shopping researchers, visit:

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