Back-to-school shopping tips from AAA


St. Johns County students will head back to school next week, and as parents prepare to take advantage of this weekend’s tax-free shopping holiday, AAA reports that while 87 percent of shoppers plan to do their shopping in-store, many will be using their smartphones for assistance. From using mobile devices to compare prices and redeem coupons to making purchases, smartphones can help parents score the best back-to-school shopping deals, the automobile organization said.

“Some of the best deals can be found, literally at your fingertips,” AAA’s Josh Carrasco said. “Many retailers will match prices found online or post coupons that can be used in the store. Spending a little time researching your purchases can add up to big savings.”

According to AAA, while just over one-fourth of Floridians (27 pecent) report feeling financially better off than last year – thanks in part to low gas prices and wage increases – consumers are always looking to save money at the register. The average Florida family with children K-12 plans to spend on average $589 on their back-to-school shopping. Shoppers heading to the store for school supplies can keep costs down by planning ahead, looking for discounts, and skipping unnecessary items.

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.

Shop Online: Before you buy, pull out your phone. Sometimes you can find a better deal for the item online or at another store. The majority of parents (50 percent) will use their smartphones or tablets to compare products and prices and about one-third (31 percent) will use it to make a purchase.   

Shop Tax-Free: In Florida the back-to-school tax-free holiday begins Friday, Aug. 5 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 7. Parents can skip the tax on clothing under $60 and school supplies under $15.

Use Membership Savings: Membership organizations like AAA offer many instant discounts and rewards at a variety of retailers. Visit for a variety of savings on your back-to-school shopping.