Back to School shopping can be a big financial burden for families, and we understand why.

According to a recent American Express survey, the average American family will spend $1,239 during the 2015 back to school shopping season.

Don’t worry. We’re speechless too.

Families are spending more on electronics (tablets and cell phones) because they’re becoming more popular in the classroom. 57% of families are expecting to purchase textbooks this year, spending an average of $249 on books.

Keep some extra cash in your pocket with our 5 best savings tips. You may not be able to avoid shopping entirely, but these creative ideas will definitely come in handy.

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Maximize Back to School Savings

1. Use Credit Card Rewards

Check your rewards points or cash rewards balance. At Navy Federal, the average cardholder has $50-75 in unclaimed cash rewards. Back to school shopping hurts the wallet a lot less when you factor in your rewards!

2. Earn More Rewards

Make the most of your purchases by using your rewards credit card to earn additional kickbacks. With the holidays on the horizon, you can redeem those rewards for your holiday shopping spree!

3. Get Back to Basics

Use back to school season to teach your child about money management and budgeting. Developing excellent money skills at a young age will ensure future financial success!

4. Reuse, Refresh, Recycle

Raid your home for unused or gently used school supplies. You’d be surprised what you find, and it’s less you have to buy! Refresh last year’s backpacks by hand washing it. Or better yet, get crafty and take the old bag from drab to fab. You can always ask friends, family and neighbors to share shopping lists and have a supply swap.

5. Time it Perfectly

Make the most of savings opportunities by combining sales tax holidays, your cash rewards and discounts. A study by the National Retail Foundation (2015) found that 30% of shoppers wait until less than 2 weeks before school starts to shop. Another way to save is to wait a little big longer and save more when retailers discount school supplies to make room for new products.

What’s your savings strategy for back to school shopping? We want to know!