Sport and fitness gear
This was the one bright spot of back-to-school shopping when I was a kid — a chance to score some new sports equipment under the argument that I'd need it for school. Many sales offered by sporting goods chains this time of year are likely more about the need to sell off remaining summertime gear to make room for fall and winter items than about equipping school kids for gym class and after-school sports, but who cares? Retailers including Sports Authority, Cabela's and even Bass Pro Shops are using it as an excuse to mark down some pretty sporty merchandise.
Art and craft supplies
If you're into crafting, keep an eye open for chains like Michaels and A.C. Moore to offer sales on art and craft supplies during the back-to-school season. Like with sporting goods, many times craft stores use extended back-to-school sales to liquidate summer seasonal items. For example, my wife has found some of the best prices of the year on silk flowers and scrapbooking supplies during this time of year, allowing her to indulge two of her favorite crafty pastimes on the cheap.
To sweeten August back-to-school savings even more, many states waive sales tax on clothing, computers and other school supplies. Check online to see whether your state is participating.
Jeff Yeager is the author of three books, The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches, The Cheapskate Next Door and Don't Throw That Away! His website is UltimateCheapskate.com and you can friend him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.
Also of interest: Check out AARP's 99 ways to save!