With all the uncertainty around the economy, many of us are in for a bit of a breather from taxes for back to school supplies. Participating states plan this event for different Sales Tax Holiday Weekends beginning at the end of July and through August.
Each state handles it differently; be sure to consult your state’s website to find details in order to understand which items are covered and the related spend. For example, in Connecticut, clothing and footwear are covered and will not be subject to state taxes as long as the item costs less than $100. In Missouri, tax-free items include clothing, computers, software, diapers, school supplies and graphic calculators. The limits range from $50 total to $1500 total per type of item being purchased.
The big stores like Walmart and Target participate both in store and online. Of course, Amazon, where the world shops, also participates.
To make the best use of your time, have a plan. Spend time mapping out your back-to-school buying journey to decide where to physically travel and what to purchase online at which sites.
Some places to consider are The Dollar Store (now each item is $1.25), which tends to have great deals on notebooks, supply keepers, pens, pencils, markers and the like. Drug Stores like Rite Aid and CVS will also put items on super sales if they are not moving. Since such stores are not top of mind for back to school shopping, deals can be found!
If you have a Costco membership, keep an eye out on the Frugal Hotspot page. Sam’s Club is another membership store that has plenty of good deals. Aldi Finds are seasonal weekly deals, keep an eye on the Aldi Fans’ Aisle of Shame website to learn what’s on sale. A quick way to see if the item you want is in stock at your store, check out their ad or take a peek at that particular store’s Instacart site. Not all items are available at all stores.
Just because something is tax-free does not necessarily make it a better deal. Keep in mind that you can spend less on big ticket items like computers, iPads and other electronics by doing a bit of research.
Older kids that are off to college may need sheets, comforters, furniture, dish sets and more. Check all the usual places like Walmart and Target, but don’t forget this family of stores: Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls.
Finally, take a look at what you already have on hand. At the end of last school year, your kids may have thrown everything in a big bag that is now hiding in the back of their closet. Take inventory before purchasing more.
May this be a healthy and safe school year for you and your family.