SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s that time again! Students are heading back to school in just a few short weeks beginning in August throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.
A lot of parents are currently searching the stores and shopping online for the best local back-to-school deals on supplies and uniforms, so WSAV News 3 put together five helpful money-saving tips to keep in mind before going shopping for the new school year.
1) Grab some free supplies where you can.
There are a few school districts in our area, like Jeff Davis and Jasper counties, that are hosting back-to-school supply drives over the next few weeks. Be sure to view WSAV’s Back-to-School Headquarters for more information. However, keep in mind that some of these events require that the student attends school in that county.
If you’re in need of free uniforms, the Chatham County Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a “Back to School Bash” on Saturday, July 27. It will take place at Lake Mayer Community Park.
Also, don’t forget about the Ready, Set, Go Back to School Expo! It’s on Saturday, Aug. 3 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Savannah Civic Center. There will be school supply giveaways at the free event, which is sponsored, in part, by WSAV News 3.
2) Try a local arts and crafts store.
From markers, binders, rulers and more, parents can find some of the best deals in Savannah at Starlandia Arts Supply, which is the only local arts and crafts store in the area, says owner Clinton Edminster.
The unique shop sells new and reclaimed art supplies and creative materials, including back-to-school supplies.
“People bring in their old supplies they’re not using anymore. They can bring that into the store, and we give them store credit, and then we organize and put that stuff back up for sale,” Edminster told News 3. “It’s a way to recycle, reuse and keep stuff from going into the landfill, and also, it allows us to provide, by far, the lowest costs on art and school supplies in town.”
Starlandia is running 50 and 70% off sales on supplies including binders and notebooks leading up to the school year. Some items run as cheap as 10 or 20 cents.
3) Get some help from money-saving apps.
There are a number of smartphone apps out there designed to help you save big. Check out apps like The Coupons App, ShopSavvy and You Need a Budget. They’ll help parents locate good deals on back-to-school items. You can even earn cashback from your purchases on some apps, like Ibotta.
4) Coupons are your friend!
You can nab some great deals by using coupons, whether they’re the paper variety or the ones you can pull up on your smartphone.
If you check online, you can find some helpful local groups that are all about savings. The Facebook group, Sassy Savannah Savers, is a group of more than 600 local couponers from Savannah and the Lowcountry area.
In the group, members regularly post deals and savings, including on school supplies like uniforms, folders and notebooks.
5) Take advantage of the Sales Tax-Free weekend, if you can.
In South Carolina, the tax-free weekend runs from Friday, Aug. 2 to Monday, Aug. 5.
This is when a variety of back-to-school essentials will be exempt from the state’s 6% sales tax and any applicable local taxes.
Florida has a back-to-school sales tax holiday, as well, from Friday. Aug. 2 to Tuesday, Aug. 6. More information on Florida’s sales tax-free period can be found here.
Georgia currently does not have a sales tax-free holiday.