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Tips for shopping during this Tax-Free week

By Al Sunshine, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Consumer Investigator, Aug 8, 2015 – With the Tax Free Shopping Weekend in Florida going full-swing, how can you make sure you’re getting the best deals possible? AAA has some smart-shopping tips aimed at saving you some $$$.

AAA Back-to-School Shopping Tips:

Shop at Home: Once you create your back-to-school shopping list, take an at-home inventory. School lists often carry-over items from the previous year, so make sure you aren’t buying multiples of things you already own.

Spread Out Your Shopping: The majority of Florida parents (75%) begin their back-to-school shopping 1-4 weeks before school starts. Sometimes you will find better deals if you spread out your shopping and begin shopping earlier or wait until school starts. For instance, often times retail stores will have deep discounts on clothing in the fall in order to make room for winter inventory.

Do Your Research: As you create your list, check sales and find which retailers have the best price on each item. Stick to the list to stay on budget.

Faith Based Events

Shop Online: Before you buy, pull out your phone. Sometimes you can find a better deal for the item online or at another store. Almost half of parents (47%) will use their smartphones or tablets to compare products and prices and 22 percent will use it to make a purchase.

Shop Tax-Free: In Florida the back-to-school tax holiday starts August 7th and runs through August 16th. Parents can skip the tax on items from simple school supplies to clothing under $100. The break also applies to the sales tax on the first $750 of the price of laptop computers and certain other electronics for personal use.

Use Membership Savings: Membership organizations like AAA offer many instant discounts and rewards* at a variety of retailers. Check out aaa.com/specialoffers for a variety of savings on your back-to-school shopping including:

Dell™ – Save up to 30% off list price on select items. Also, members will get a free 32″ LG TV (valued at $279.99) when they purchase select PCs $699.99 and up from May 1 – August 31, 2015. Offer is available through AAA.com/dell or 800-274-4635 with promo code/member ID: GS75971913.

Reebok and Rockport Outlet Stores – Save 40% of regular outlet prices between August 12 – September 6, 2015

HP.com – Save 10% or more on list price of select items, plus 15% on printer ink through AAA.com/hp. Also, members can purchase a HP 10 Tablet for $159.99 – a savings of more than 30% off MSRP – from July 25-August 31, 2015 with coupon code AAATABLET.

Payless ShoeSource® – 10% off regular priced merchandise

Walmart.com – AAA members can earn up to 4% of your order in AAA Dollars when shopping via AAA.com/dollars. Visit aaa.com/dollars for restrictions and details.

*Go to aaa.com/save for limitations and more details.

Al Sunshine is a South Florida-based Broadcast and Digital Journalist whose career has spanned more than 40 years at the local and national levels. His award-winning investigations have triggered more than a dozen state and local consumer protection laws and his work’s been cited in Congressional Testimony before the U-S House of Representatives. He is best known for his “Shame On You” features for CBS Miami which sought to expose businesses, agencies and individuals defrauding or deceiving consumers, as well as endangering the safety and welfare of the general public. In 2013 Al retired from CBS Miami to set up his own Digital News Business, “Sunshine News, LLC” and Al continues to blog for the Radio, Television, Digital News Association, sponsors of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards”. An avid environmentalist, Al is one of the founding members of the “Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition”. The Florida Non-Profit is fighting to save and restore the last 2% of Pine Rocklands found only in South Florida and nowhere else in the continental United States. Al was recently elected its President.