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Back-to-School Shopping Tips for Tax-Free Weekend! (Plus a Printable Shopping List!)

Shopping, and especially back to school shopping, can really add up and drain our wallets quickly. While the excitement of a new school year and brand new supplies can be exciting for our kids, it’s not as exciting for our bank accounts. Fortunately, there’s one weekend a year that we can shop tax-free, and it conveniently comes right before school starts.

A few things to know about shopping tax-free

Tax-free shopping applies to:Back to School Shopping Tips for Tax-Free Weekend! (Plus a Printable Shopping List!)

  • Clothing
  • Accessories
  • Footwear
  • School supplies
  • Computers
  • Computer Equipment

Tax-free shopping cannot be used to buy:

  • Jewelry
  • Cosmetics
  • Eyewear
  • Furniture
  • Items placed on layaway

*Source: https://www.freetaxweekend.com/south-carolina-tax-free-weekend/

Tips before you head to the stores

  1. Make sure to get your child’s school supply list from the school so you know exactly what they need. Many teachers are specific about the types of pencils and other supplies they want, so you’ll want to make sure that you get the correct ones!
  2. Compare prices online before heading to the store. Although the tax-free savings are great, it may still be cheaper to buy some of the supplies online. 
  3. Some stores do not allow you to use coupons during tax-free weekend. Make sure to check ahead with your favorite stores to see if this is the case.
  4. Classrooms often run low on supplies at some point during the school year. Plan ahead and stock up on supplies you know will go quick, either at school or home (think: pencils, tissues, glue sticks, etc.) so you can accumulate some savings!
  5. Make a list and stick to it. It’s easy to impulse buy when you feel like you’re “getting a deal”, but big sales will be happening at the end of the season too, so ask yourself if you really need that extra item before purchasing.
  6. Shop local. There are so many great local stores in the Charleston area that would love your business.
  7. Divide and conquer. Although a family shopping trip to Target may sound like a good idea, chances are that you’ll walk out of there with a lot more than you intended to buy, a lot less money in your wallet, and witness to at least a tantrum or two. Maybe Dad or Grandma can watch the kiddos and you can shop alone (hello, amazing!)
  8. Take inventory of what clothes and shoes fit/don’t fit your kids. They grow out of things fast, and the last thing you want on your first morning heading out the door is to realize that your child’s sneakers don’t fit them anymore!

*Bonus! We’ve included a printable shopping list for you to take to the store. Although each class and school will differ in the exact supplies they request (see tip #1 above), many of the items listed are general supplies that nearly every student will need. Just click on the link above to get your printable list!

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