Back to School Pro Tips
'Tis the season to head back to school! Are you ready? Are your kids excited to see their friends again? Grab that classroom supplies list, and let’s look at some of the best ways to save money on back-to-school basics! 1. Texas Sales Tax Holiday: August 6 – 8 Coming up August 6 - 8, 2021 is the Sales Tax Holiday, where state law exempts sales tax on qualified items—such as clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks—priced at below $100. That saves shoppers about $8 on every $100 spent. A full list of qualifying items can be found on TexasTaxHoliday.org. The Comptroller’s office estimates that shoppers will save an estimated $107.3 million in state and local sales tax during the holiday. 2. Get Those Extra Savings Check local ads, social media, and storefronts for back-to-school sales and savings. There are also wonderful resources like Coupon Mom, which shows you what’s on sale in your neighborhood and the matching coupon. For online shopping, look to sites like RetailMeNot for savings on base prices, shipping, and more. Also, make sure to grab the digital apps for the stores you frequent. Target and Walmart, for example, have serious savings perks on their apps for consistent shoppers. Oftentimes they offer savings you don’t see in stores. 3. Buy Used Whether you’re searching for clothes, backpacks, or books, buying used is an excellent way to save a lot of money on supplies. Consignment shops, garage sales, thrift stores like Community in Schools, and Facebook Marketplace are all great places to look. Required summer reading or in need of a study guide? Check out ThriftBooks for secondhand copies of thousands of titles and free shipping for purchases over $10. 4. Buy in Bulk When planning lunches, consider buying staples in larger sizes to save with bulk pricing and repacking them into smaller sizes. For example, buying a 5-pound bag of mini carrots and putting them in snack-sized plastic bags for a healthy lunch option is a 30% savings over the smaller pre-packaged sizes. 5. Preform a Supply Sweep You may not realize it, but you may have plenty of school supplies around the house from last year’s desk cleanout. Check closets, desk drawers, and basement bins for reusable, money-saving treasures. Make a list of your pens, pencils, highlighters, and any other supplies you already own while shopping for what you still need. 6. Compare Prices If you’re looking at purchasing a bigger-ticket item or electronic this school year, you can save by keeping a keen eye on Amazon’s ever-changing prices. CamelCamelCamel tracks the price range history for every product sold on Amazon, including historical highs and lows. Also, check your grocery store or neighborhood drugstore for bargains on school supplies starting midsummer. Sometimes they offer the same products for cheaper when they’re on sale than at the big-box store. No matter how you choose to shop, there are plenty of options to save money on back-to-school supplies! What are your best practices for the year?
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