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How To Save BIG On Back To School Shopping

Save Big Back To school ShoppingThe start to the school year is just a few weeks away. Cue the excitement for the return of routines and schedules. Until you remember there’s all that Back-To-School shopping to be done! Even for a supply lover like me (another pack of post-it notes? Don’t mind if I do), the frenzy of Back-To-School shopping can take it’s toll on the emotions and the wallet! 

So here are a few quick tips to save some money on all those school supplies : 

Florida’s tax free weekend: Tax free weekend is August 4-6, 2017. This means no sales tax on TONS of items, like 

  • school supplies (up to $15 per item) 
  • backpacks
  • clothing (up to $60 per item) 
  • diapers
  • jackets
  • shoes
  • headphones
  • computers (up to $750 per item) 
  • laptops
  • printers
  • tablets

And rejoice, the state has no issue with using additional discounts or BOGO coupons on top of the tax free discounts, so it’s a good time to max out the savings. Plus, retailers are getting more and more competitive about discounting during this time, so use that to your advantage too and watch for extra store discounts. 

To avoid the whole IMPULSE PURCHASE phenomenon (Ahem. Target Dollar Bin Who?) I suggest checking out your favorite stores a few days before tax free weekend (now)  to see what their specials are and get the best deals you can. Keep that school supply list handy, because it’s easy to get carried away!  

Online: Another GREAT trick for savings is to do as much of your back to school shopping as possible ONLINE. Sure, you don’t get that rush that comes from seeing all the pretty pens lined up, but you don’t have that gut punch from too many impulse buys at the register either (I’m just preaching to myself here).  Most of the big retailers, (looking at you Target, Walmart, Amazon)  don’t charge tax online for qualifying items during tax-free days, and free shipping is pretty common as well. Just watch out on Amazon, as some of the independent resellers who sell through Amazon may not be offering the same deals.  

School Supplies Savings

Apps: If you’re into it, there are lots of apps that offer extra savings. I have not personally tested all of these, so do your own investigating, but these are the ones that I either use myself or that look the most promising. 

Cartwheel // Any target lover needs this one. You can use the app to scan an item while shopping to see if it has a cartwheel discount. And you can use the cartwheel discounts in combination with other target coupons, manufacturer coupons, and with the Target REDcard if you have one. 

Ebates // Full disclosure, I don’t use this site. But I keep hearing about it, and I don’t really know why I don’t use it the more I look into it! I shop a lot online, so it seems like it could be a great way to save on things you’re already buying, and they pay out cash back quarterly. 

Raise // OK, this is a new one for me, recommended but not personally tested.  This site lets you BUY (and sell) gift cards at a discounted price from brands like Starbucks, Nordstrom, Apple, Office Max, HP and more. It’s an app that works like a gift card marketplace, where you can save on brands you’d shop with anyway, and that could help you save even more if you use them during tax free days$$! They also have an ON SALE section on their site, where with the code RAISE1, you get an extra discount off of certain brands’ gift cards. Right now, one of those extra sale brands is Office Depot–here we come School Supplies. Double check the type of card before you purchase, as some have restrictions and can only be used online, for example. 

Happy Back-To-School shopping! And happy saving! You may even be able to get that fancy dangly bracelet you’ve been wanting since you were able to save so much money.  So basically, that bracelet would be FREE (which is what I’m telling my husband). 

Do you always take advantage of Tax-Free Weekend?  What other ways do you save on big back to school items? Let me know your favorite tips in the comments!

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