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Welcome to the viewers from Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend! Here are the Back to School Shopping Tips for Tax Free Weekend that we discussed in the segment.
I can hardly believe that School starts next week! Where has the Summer gone? If you still need to finish up your Back to School shopping, don’t forget that this weekend (August 5-7) it is Tax Free Weekend here in Florida. There are some changes this year that you will definitely want to know about before heading out the door so be sure that you are in-the-know about the all of the details.
Sales Tax is exempt on:
- Select Clothing and Accessory Purchases of $60 or less. This also includes diapers so stock up if you have little ones! (you can also use coupons to maximize the savings)
- Shoe purchases of $60 or less.
- School Supply purchases of $15 or less.
You can see the complete details of what items are included/excluded this year HERE.
Before you head out the door to do your shopping, I have a list of 4 important tips to help you have a stress-free trip and to save some big bucks along the way!
1. Consider Shopping Online and Choosing the Free Pick up In-Store option. Did you know that stores like JCPenney, Kohl’s, Best Buy, Target, Sears, Walmart, Office Depot, Office Max and Staples offer this service? Not only is this a time-saver, but you can shop right from the comfort of your own home, avoid those huge crowds and long lines and pick up your items for Free right in the store. I can’t tell you how much that I love this option and use it all of the time! For those of you with little ones, this can really be an effective way to shop as well so you don’t have to drag the kiddos out to several different stores. If you do shop online, consider going through a Cash Back site like Ebates. When you go through Ebates to shop at your favorite online store, you will earn Cash Back! I don’t know about you, but shopping from home in my jammies and earning CASH back on my purchases sounds like a great idea! And, I don’t have to face those crazy crowds while saving on Tax Free deals!
2. Utilize Mobile Apps/Rewards Programs. Money-saving apps and Rewards programs are a definitely a great resource for saving big this Tax Free Weekend. A few of my favorite Apps are RetailMeNot and The Target Cartwheel App.
RetailMeNot is a great app that you can utilize for shopping at any store or even restaurant. Plug in the store and the app will tell you if there is a coupon code whether in-store or online. I use this app each time that I shop and it has saved me hundreds of dollars!
The Target Cartwheel App is Target’s Savings App. You choose the offers you want to use and add them to your list. Show the cashier your barcode at checkout, they will scan it and your savings will come off. Voila, it is that easy! If you don’t have a smartphone, you can also access Cartwheel from your computer and print your barcode to take with you to the store. I have saved almost $200 to date with the Target Carthweel App! I noticed that there are lots of offers right now for Back to School Supplies and Clothing so be sure to check out this app before heading out this weekend to shop.
Utilize Rewards Programs to your favorite stores. Many stores now offer rewards programs that will give you points for each purchase that you make. Those points quickly add up and can be traded in for gift cards, cash and more!
3. Use Coupons. If you receive the Sunday Newspaper there have been some awesome manufacturer’s coupons the past few weeks for School Supplies. You can use those coupons in conjunction with the Tax Free weekend to get some really great deals. Consider looking at the Grocery Store for School Supply Deals. I feel like the Grocery Store can sometimes be a hidden gem when it comes to finding school supplies. Stores like Publix and Winn-Dixie offer Buy 1 Get 1 Free deals on items. This allows you to buy what the kiddos need now and stockpile the other items away for future use or donate them to someone in need.
Use Store Coupons to save Big! I love the JCPenney $10 off $10 purchase coupons as they allow me to get items for Free or very inexpensive. Sign up for Email/Social Media Offers and Coupons to Your Favorite Stores. When you sign up to receive these offers to your favorite stores many times they will email you a coupon for your next purchase. This can be a huge savings especially if you are making a larger purchase. For example, my son Drew wanted a pair of Nike Shoes for school this year. I knew that we were going to Champs Sports so I signed up for their email club. They sent me a coupon for $10 off my purchase of $50 or more!
4. Price Match/Compare Prices– If you will be doing a lot of shopping this weekend, I am sure that you will want to compare prices to make sure you are getting the best deal out there. It may also be beneficial to price match. Many stores will price match competitor’s prices if they sell the identical item. Just keep in mind that many times you will need to have the physical newspaper advertisement with you to do so. Some stores will also price-match to Amazon.com.
Make sure that you keep all of your receipts! If the items that you purchased go on sale within the next 1-2 weeks, many stores have a price-adjustment policy that will allow you to receive a credit for the difference. This could be a big savings!
If you plan on shopping this Tax Free Weekend, I hope that these tips will be a help to you! Just remember to Be Patient and Be Prepared! And try to have some FUN along the way!