With household budgets tight and school budgets being shaved by millions this year, we gathered some tips for parents on saving money while shopping for school supplies:
• Florida reinstates its back-to-school sales tax holiday Aug. 13-15. There will be no sales tax for books, clothing and footwear that cost $50 or less or for school supplies that cost $10 or less.
• If you can hold off on some supplies, they are often sold at deep discounts after Labor Day when stores tear down back-to-school displays. This is a great time to snap up notebook paper, pencils and folders for pennies.
• Craft stores often have close-out sales after school has started. This is a good way to stock up on poster board that will be needed later in the year for school projects.
• Think outside the big box store. Your supermarket tries to get on the back-to-school train, so see whether it has any deals. After school starts, look for pens, markers and other supplies that are put on the closeout rack as inventories are trimmed.
• Look through Sunday newspaper sales circulars. Good deals are always tucked inside.
• Online shopping can yield bargains, in many cases with no sales tax. Many offer free shipping now.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne and Sherry Robinson write for the Whoa, Momma! blog at tampbay.com/blogs/moms. Follow Whoa, Momma! on Twitter at twitter.com/whoamomma.