Back to School Money Saving Ideas from UT Extension

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Shopping Tax-Free, Budgeting and More

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Summer break is nearly over, and that means back to school shopping for many families. Clothes, shoes, school supplies, backpacks and other items can quickly become expensive, but University of Tennessee Extension has ideas for families to help manage this season.

“One of the biggest money saving tips is to do as much of your back to school shopping during tax-free weekend as possible,” says Ann Berry, UT Extension professor. “In Tennessee, tax-free weekend starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 26 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 28. Families can start saving now in order to take advantage of the tax break and make larger purchases, like laptops, shoes and backpacks,” continues Berry.

The expert also suggests identifying what school supplies your family already has and shopping those first. Take some time to clean out “junk drawers,” closets, old backpacks, and other areas where school supplies may be hiding. Then, see what can be crossed off the list before ever leaving home. 

Berry also suggests setting a budget for back to school shopping. “You can even turn this into a learning activity for your kids by setting a separate, age-appropriate budget for each child, and helping them stick to it.”

More information about Tennessee’s Sales Tax Holiday, including a comprehensive list of items that can be purchased tax free, is available online at

For more financial resources, contact the family and consumer sciences agent at your local county Extension office. You can also visit the UT Extension Family and Consumer Sciences website at

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.

Media Contact

Ann A. Berry

Department of Family and Consumer Sciences



Ann Berry