VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You’re starting to see and hear the commercials for back to school shopping and it’s not even August yet. And some stores are already pulling out their Christmas stock.

So maybe thinking about completing your child’s school supply list may not come as a surprise. Or does it?

UBC Marketing Professor Joandrea Hoegg says it’s not too early for retailers or for people on tight budgets who want to save a few bucks.

“It really depends on your perspective. If you’re looking for deals, early is actually better because the firms are trying to get into the stores. They’re going to find ways to do so — with deals, with specials, with savings that are not going to be available later,” Hoegg explains.

She says the struggling US economy is the main driving force behind the early push to get people to spend their dough on things for students, and hopefully other things as well.

“For many retailers, you’re going to get a ‘U’ shaped relationship. They’re going to blast some things out early to get you in the stores because nobody wants to think about shopping. So to get you in the door their going to put sales on now…when everyone starts thinking about it, they don’t need to. Come mid-August, that’s not going to happen,” Hoegg believes.

She says you could also wait until the last minute, when stores drop their prices again to get rid of excess stuff, but you’re not guaranteed all of those things on your kids’ list will be there.

And when it comes to shopping, gone are the days of cheaper, low-tech tools.

“In this era, when back-to-school shopping is expensive, we’re now talking not about just pencils and pens and erasers. We’re [now] talking about laptops and iPads and all these sorts of technological things that cost a lot more money.”