With spending on back-to-school up five percent over last year to nearly $670 per person, it’s important for parents to spend wisely on their kids’ classroom needs. This weekend’s tax-free holiday is a great opportunity to stock up on essentials for less.
To get the most bang for your back-to-school buck, Consumer Savings Expert Andrea Woroch offers these these tips for optimizing this weekend’s deals.
1. Shop Your Home First
Review the list of school supplies required by your child’s classroom and shop your home first. Collect leftover pens, pencils, notebooks and other supplies so you don’t purchase items you don’t need. Have your kids clean out their rooms and closets so you have a better idea of their clothing and footwear needs.
2. Know the Details
It’s important to know exactly which items are tax exempt this weekend to avoid surprises at checkout. You can find all the details on the Window on State Government’s webpage, but in summary:
- Clothing and shoe purchases up to $100 each, but athletic apparel and footwear specifically manufactured for use in the athletic activity is not included (i.e. soccer cleats, football pads, etc.).
- Backpacks priced up to $100 are also exempt, including messenger bags and backpacks with wheels (that can also be worn on the back).
- General school supplies are exempt up to $100 each.
3. Shop Online
The tax-free weekend applies to online orders as well, and Dallas-area residents can even benefit from same-day delivery of textbooks and other basic school supplies from Amazon. Otherwise, be sure to compare prices of in-store items with online providers using apps like Pricegrabber or Amazon PriceCheck. Some retailers like Target will match online prices for Amazon, so check with a store associate for details.
4. Stack Savings
Deepen the deals you receive on tax-exempt products with coupons and in-store promotions. To make this easier, download a coupon app like Coupon Sherpa for instant access to deals like an extra $15 off your purchase of $75 or more from Aeropostale, or buy one, get one 40-percent off from Stride Rite.
5. Practice Patience
You may be tempted to get all your back-to-school shopping done to avoid paying sales tax on every purchase. However, items like denim and fall apparel are better buys later in the season when retailers start making room for holiday merchandise. Limit this weekend’s purchases to required items that represent a good deal even without the tax savings.
Do you go out and fight the crowd or stay at home and avoid it at all cost?