Back-to-school 2016: Top 5 money-saving shopping tips

The first day of school in Palm Beach County is less than two weeks away.

If you are on the hunt for back-to-school bargains, consider these money-saving tips from Kyle James, founder of the coupon website The site offers shopping tips, promotion codes, and alerts when new online coupons are available at stores you frequently visit.

Shop at home first.MT-1A_SCHOOL SUPPLIES.JPG

“The first thing I always recommend is to pull out your child’s backpack and shop the backpack first,” James said.

Your child may still be able to use some of last year’s supplies, and that will save you money when you shop for this year’s items, James said.

“In many cases, a lot of the stuff is still in pretty decent shape,” he said.

Don’t do all your shopping at one store.

“Never walk in to one store and buy everything,” James warns. “You are going to get some things on sale, but inevitability you are going to pay full price on some stuff.”

James recommends parents look through the sale advertisements before hitting the stores. Pay close attention to office supply ads, he says, because those stores often have rock-bottom prices on a few items every week.

BlackFridayadsLook for stores that price match.

Gather up sale ads for big box chains and office supply retailers before you head out to do your shopping. If you see an item advertised for less at another store, ask the manager to match the sale price, James said.

“That is really the best way to save,” James said.

Stay away from backpacks with characters on them.

Backpacks with cartoon characters on them typically cost about 20 to 30 percent more than non-character ones.

Instead, James recommends buying a plain backpack and letting your child decorate it.

“A lot of times, kids want the characters,” James said. “I always recommend buying stickers and letting your kids decorate them.”

Laura Palacio, 13, of West Palm Beach, tries on a backpack that she likes with her sister Mayra Palacio, at the Target on Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., July 30, 2014, in West Palm Beach. Laura chose the back to school supplies that she needs for the upcoming year and plans to come back and buy them when the tax free holiday begins Friday. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)
Laura Palacio, 13, of West Palm Beach, tries on a backpack that she likes with her sister Mayra Palacio, at the Target on Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., July 30, 2014, in West Palm Beach. Laura chose the back to school supplies that she needs for the upcoming year and plans to come back and buy them when the tax free holiday begins Friday. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)

Leave your children at home when you shop.

Many times, kids will ask for more expensive items, or items that may not be needed until later in the school year, James said.

“You end up spending more than you would have,” James said.


AT&T boosts wireless coverage across South Florida

Wireless carrier AT&T has increased the capacity at 250 cell sites across South Florida, including many located in Palm Beach County, the company said Thursday.

 (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

The upgrades will make it possible for the sites to handle more network traffic, enhancing reliability and overall service performance, the company said in a news release.

AT&T has spent nearly $900 million over a 3-year-period to upgrade wireless and wireline networks in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the company said.

“We work hard to deliver a great network experience for our customers wherever they live, work, or play,” said AT&T Florida President Joe York. “That’s why we continue to invest in our South Florida networks.”

In Palm Beach County, the upgrades are expected to boost coverage in the following areas: Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Wellington, West Boca, and West Palm Beach.






Hoffman’s Chocolates unveils new food truck

Hoffman’s Chocolates has been gracing taste buds at its stores across South Florida for more than four decades.

Now the iconic brand is bringing its gourmet chocolate and tasty confections to you, with a new mobile food truck designed to deliver sweet treats at parties and special events throughout Palm Beach and Broward counties.Hoffman's Chocolates_Sweet Ride Food Truck

RELATED: Donate a backpack, get a free chocolate factory tour

The “Sweet Ride” truck is set to make its next public appearance at Mizner Park in Boca Raton next week. The truck will be serving gourmet chocolate, ice cream, caramel apples, and an assortment of other confections at the Aug. 5 screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The event starts at 8 p.m.

“We are thrilled to introduce the Sweet Ride to South Florida,” said Lois Marino, Director of Marketing for Hoffman’s Chocolates. “Hoffman’s Chocolates wants to make life sweeter for our community and now we have the opportunity to bring our treats to patrons on the road, whether it be a surprise stop on the street or at an event.”

The truck will also be available for special events including Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and birthday parties, Hoffman’s officials said.





CityPlace to host free art event for kids on Aug. 6

CityPlace in partnership with the Center for Creative Education will host a FREE art-themed event for children on Aug 6. 021010_met_cityplace_1.jpg

The “Discover the Arts Fun Day” runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will feature FREE art activities for kids.

RELATED: Back-to-School: Tips on deals, getting the most of tax holiday

The event coincides with Florida’s popular back-to-school sales tax holiday, which runs from Aug.5-7.  During the three-day weekend, shoppers won’t be charged the state’s 6 percent sale tax on certain school-related items.

From August 5- 14, shoppers who spend $100 at CityPlace stores will get $10 back. Those who spend $150, will get $20 back, according to a representative for the retail hub.


TooJay’s celebrates grand opening with gift card giveaway

TooJay’s will celebrate the grand opening of its new Wellington location on Tuesday, and the first 50 people in line will get a free gift card when the doors open.

Club sandwich
Club sandwich

The restaurant, located at 2605 S. State Road 7, opens at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The first 50 people in line will receive a $25 gift card and a free tumbler, the company said.

The restaurant recently relocated from the Mall at Wellington Green. It is now located in Wellington Green Commons, near Whole Foods.

TooJay’s has nearly 30 locations throughout central and south Florida.

Comcast holding job fair today for new Delray Beach location

Looking for a job? Comcast is hiring.

Exterior view of Xfinity store Jan. 22, 2015, in Wellington (Bill Ingram / Palm Beach Post)
Exterior view of Xfinity store Jan. 22, 2015, in Wellington (Bill Ingram / Palm Beach Post)

The company is looking for more than a dozen people to work at its new Xfinity store in the Delray Marketplace, located at 9173 W. Atlantic Boulevard in suburban Delray Beach.

The company plans to hold a job fair today  (Wednesday, July 20) to help fill both full and part-time positions. The job fair runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will be held at Comcast’s service center at  7201 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton.

The company said applicants “should bring multiple copies of their resumes with them and plan to arrive by 5 p.m. for the sales career presentation at the beginning of the event, which is mandatory for consideration.”

Those who can’t attend the event but still wish to apply should call 239-432-1873.

Publix launches grocery delivery service with Instacart in Miami

Beginning next week, Publix customers in some Miami neighborhoods will be able to order groceries online and have them delivered to their doorstep.

(Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)
(Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

Publix announced Wednesday that it has teamed up with the online grocery company Instacart to offer delivery service from Hallandale Beach to South Miami. Customers can enter their ZIP code on the Instacart website to find out if the service is available where they live.

Shoppers can place orders by visiting

“We know this service is something our customers are interested in, and we’re excited to learn more as we move forward with this pilot,” said Kevin Murphy, Publix Senior Vice President of Retail Operations. “We chose Instacart because we believe the experience they provide aligns well with the needs of our company, associates and customers.”

Publix has tested other online shopping and delivery services over the years.

In 2010, the grocer announced its short-lived Curbside service, which allowed customers in select areas to order groceries online and choose a pickup location and time. Employees walked the groceries to shoppers’ cars.

Publix abandoned anther online ordering and delivery service, called Publix Direct, in 2003.

This local golf course was just named one of the best in the world

The exclusive Seminole Golf Course in Juno Beach has been named among the world’s best by Golf Digest magazine. 

The private course, built in 1929, took the 28th spot on the magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 greatest golf courses.  No Florida course ranked higher.


In its ranking, the magazine noted the courses “clever routing,” adding that each hole “encounters a new wind direction.”

Local tourism officials have dubbed Palm Beach County as “Florida’s Golf Capital.” The county is home to more than 160 public, private and resort golf courses, including Boca Raton Resort & Club, The Breakers Palm Beach as well as The Honda Classic’s headquarters, PGA National Resort & Spa.

RELATED: Top places to play golf in Palm Beach County

“One of the pillars of The Palm Beaches brand is that we’ve earned the designation of Florida’s Golf Capital,” said Rich Basen, vice president of marketing and leisure sales for Discover The Palm Beaches, the official tourism marketing corporation for Palm Beach County. “We have more than 160 public and private courses, and more than 80 top professional golfers call The Palm Beaches home; so golfing is clearly one of those best-in-class experiences that few other destinations can offer on such a high level.”

“Since a determining factor in this year’s Golf Digest course rankings is proximity to the sea, it’s no surprise that Juno Beach’s Seminole Golf Club ranks among the top in the world,” Basen continued. “We have renowned championships here in The Palm Beaches, such as the Honda Classic and the Allianz Championship. Those in turn, help reaffirm The Palm Beaches’ reputation as the best way to experience Florida.”