Back-to-school bargains

Going back to school can be painful, and not just for the kids.

With the price of gas and consumer goods hovering near all-time highs, school costs can add up quickly.

The average family will spend about $400 in back-to-school shopping alone, according to a recent survey conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Opinion Research. Throughout the school year, which begins today in much of the region, parents will get hit up for a myriad of other expenses. But there are ways to save. Check out these ideas from local moms: