It might as well be Christmas!  Back-to-school is one of the most expensive times of the year for parents, with an average spend of $849 per child.  Boise Townsquare Mall is offering freebies, and other Boise stores have good deals too to give us an assist.  

Oh, MATH.  Math is not something I want to do on a regular basis, especially if the sum tells me that back-to-school shopping for three kids will cost me $2546.70.  To use the girls' favorite word, this is "terrifying."  Literally.

The National Retail Federation says the average back-to-school bill is going to run $848.90, and that's $60 higher than last year when we had the added expense of extra masks and hand sanitizer.  This year, we'll spend the most on clothes and electronics, apparently.  We need some great deals.

Boise Townsquare Mall has a pretty sweet gift opportunity happening right now called "Extra Credit, Extra Style." The first 100 people who spend $250 or more on back-to-school shopping through August 16th can get a free back-to-school customization kit.  Save your receipts!  You can redeem them Friday, August 13th from 2 PM - 5 PM at the Main Entrance between Cheesecake Factory and Old Chicago, and for other times to turn in receipts for back-to-school freebies, click HERE.

RetailMeNot highlights deals and discounts too and came up with a list of stores that will save us the most money.

8 Best Stores for Back-to-School Shopping, according to RetailMeNot.

1.  Target - Gift cards with qualifying purchases inside the Target app.

2.  Walmart - The prices are always low, and the #2 pencils are cheap.

3.  Staples - $25 off a $75 purchase

4.  Best Buy - Student deals on electronics

5.  Office Max/Office Depot - $10 off a $50 purchase

6.  Old Navy - Extra discounts with an Old Navy credit card.

7.  Kohls - KOHLS CASH.  And up to 30 percent off when you use your Kohls card.

8.  Costco - Get a $40 shop card and $40 off of a $250 purchase with auto-renew.

Soon the kids will be asking for help with math homework, so adding up how much we'll be in the hole for highlighters and hoodies now will be good practice.  That's one way to look at it.

Hopefully, with a little bargain-hunting and a big win at Boise Townsquare Mall, we can get it all done for less than $848.  And you know, parents, we're going to buy some new blue gel pens and plastic pencil cases for ourselves because they smell good and they're fun.  We just have to find the best place to do it.

Have a great year!

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The Parkcenter Mall opened the very same year as the Boise Towne Square Mall, 1988. Sadly, it didn't have the same staying power. After most stores had abandoned the location on Parkcenter Blvd, it was eventually converted into the present day Sage International School. These were 13 stores that used to call the defunct mall home.

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