By Kelley Hope, Virginia529
July 27, 2016

This time each summer, many families begin hunting for bargains to compile the dreaded supply list from their children’s schools. Throw in new clothes and shoes for growing bodies and–ouch!–wallets are painfully lighter.

Whether someone in your home is starting college or kindergarten, shopping for their supplies can be costly and time consuming.

To help families save on expenses related to education, many states offer a sales tax holiday. Tax-Free-CSPN-Blog-Image_V2

Typically held Friday to Sunday over one weekend, the events allow people to purchase specific items without paying sales tax. Eligible items vary by state and may include clothing, footwear, school supplies, backpacks and computers.

Although a few occur in late July, most sales tax holidays are in August. To find out if your state participates and when, visit or check with your state’s department of taxation. Be sure to note the specific details of the program so you aren’t surprised at the register.

Tips from a Seasoned School Supply Shopper:
• Go early. Or face the wrath of your kiddo when she learns the store is out of the Finding Dory backpack she’s been coveting.
• Avoid crowds by shopping online. Need I say more?
• Stock up for the home (or yourself!) Tax savings aren’t limited to items for children, so get yourself a new laptop or a few items for your fall wardrobe.
• Save now to save later. Consider using some of the money you would have spent on taxes to open or add to a 529 account. Your frugality now will pay off in the future.

About the author:
Kelley Hope is the communications manager for Virginia529 College Savings Plan and mom to a fourth grader and a first grader. She’s checking her lists and clearing her calendar for Virginia’s 2016 sales tax weekend August 5 through 7.