Back To School Bargains

Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday: August 4th-6th

by Katie on August 4, 2017

Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday officially starts at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, August 4th and runs through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 6th.

Here are the main components of the sales tax holiday:

What items qualify for the sales tax holiday?

  • An item of clothing priced at $75 or less
  • An item of school supplies priced at $20 or less
  • An item of school instructional materials priced at $20 or less

What items of clothing qualify for the exemption?

According to the Ohio Department of Taxation, clothing is defined as all human wearing apparel suitable for general use.  Basically, this is common sense.  The exemption will cover such items as shirts, pants, shorts, dresses, shoes, underwear, socks, coats, jackets, and so on.  You can find the full listing of items included (and excluded) here.

What kinds of items count as school supplies?

Again, most of these are common sense.  Items such as binders, notebooks, pencils, pens, compasses, glue, and highlighters are included.  You can find the full listing of included items here.

What items count as school instructional materials?

This category is much more specific, and it includes only the following items – reference books, reference maps and globes, textbooks, and workbooks.

Can more than one qualifying item be purchased in one transaction?

Yes!  Let’s say you purchase a shirt for $20, a pair of shoes for $50, and a jacket for $40.  Since each item is priced at $75 or less, they all qualify for the tax-free status.  There is no limit for the total amount of the purchase; rather, the limit applies to each individual item.

Does the $75 limit apply to the first $75 of the purchase?

No.  If you buy a pair of shoes for $80, you will pay tax on the full $80 purchase.  The exemption only applies to items that are priced at $75 or under.

What about B1G1 free sales or percentage off sales?

The same $75 limit for clothing and $20 limit for school supplies still applies.  For instance, if you buy two pairs of shoes that are on a B1G1 free sale, and they are regularly priced at $80, you will still have to pay tax on your purchase.

What about coupons and store discounts?

If a retailer offers a discount on the original price of an eligible item that brings it within the limit for the tax exemption ($75 for clothing and $20 for school supplies), the item will qualify for the exemption.  This applies to all discounts even if the retailer’s coupon or loyalty card is required to receive the discount.

However, if you use a third-party reimbursement, such as a manufacturer’s coupon, the discount provided by the coupon does not reduce the item’s sales price for the purpose of determining whether the item would be eligible for the exemption.  For example, if you buy a Five Star product that is priced at $22, and you have a $2 manufacturer’s coupon, you would still need to pay sales tax on that item.

Does the exemption apply to mail, telephone, or internet orders?

Assuming that you order and pay for the item(s) between August 4th and August 6th, and the retailer accepts the order during this exemption period, it will qualify for the tax exemption even if the delivery is made after August 6th.

However, it the item was ordered prior to August 4th and delivered between the 4th and the 6th, it will not qualify for the exemption.  Likewise, if your item is back-ordered and the payment does not occur until after August 6th, it will not qualify for the exemption.

Can a vendor choose to not participate in the sales tax holiday?

No.  The sales tax holiday was established by law, and all vendors must comply with the exemptions.

For more information, you can refer to the Ohio Department of Taxation’s site here.  


Office Depot’s Penney Deals

by Katie on July 20, 2017

Office Depot has released several coupons for $0.01 school supply deals:

  • Office Depot Brand Woodcase Pencils – $0.01
  • Office Depot Brand Poly Cover Notebook – $0.01
  • Scholastic Crayons (24 ct.) – $0.01
  • Office Depot Brand Vinyl Storage Pouch – $0.01

These offers are valid with a $5 minimum purchase, and there is a limit of 3 of each item per customer.  You can print these coupons here.


Here are the best deals at Office Depot and Office Max this week:


Scholastic Pourable School Glue, $0.25

Office Depot Brand 2-Hole Pencil Sharpener, $0.25

Office Depot Brand Plastic 12″ Ruler, $0.25

Office Depot Brand Kids’ Scissors, $0.50

Office Depot Brand Wood Pencils (12 ct.), $0.50

Office Depot Brand 2-Pocket Poly Folders, $0.50

Office Depot Brand Filler Paper, $1

Highmark Hand Sanitizer with Aloe, $1

Office Depot Brand 2-Pocket Folders (10 ct.), $1

Office Depot Brand 3″ x 5″ Rainbow Index Cards, $1

Scotch Tough Grip Packaging Tape, $1

SwissGear Backpacks, $10


Staples Deals: Week of 7/16/17

by Katie on July 19, 2017

Here are the best deals at Staples this week:


Crayola Markers (10 ct.), $0.97

Crayola Colored Pencils (12 ct.), $0.97

Staples 5″ Junior Scissors (2 ct.), $0.97

Staples Poly Pocket Divider, $0.97

Staples Accel 1-Subject Notebook, $0.97

Bic Matic Mechanical Pencils (6 ct.), $0.97

Staples No. 2 Presharpened Pencils (24 ct.), $0.97

Staples Glue Sticks (4 ct.), $0.97

Staples 1″ Heavy Duty Binder, $3.79

Staples Copy Paper Ream (750 ct.), $8.99
Submit for $7.99 Easy Rebate
$1 each after rebate (Limit 3)


Verizon is hosting a Backpack Giveaway Event on Sunday, July 23rd from 1-4 p.m.  170,000 backpacks filled with supplies will be given away at TCC Verizon store across the country.  There is a limit of one per child, and the child must be present in order to receive a free backpack.

You can find a participating TCC Verizon store near you here.  



One of my favorite places to shop for school supplies each year is Staples.  This year, I’m loving the fact that they have several items at their promotional pricing for the entire back to school season.

For instance, their folders and notebooks (both of which we use plenty of throughout the school year!) are priced at just $0.17 each.  And maybe I’m a notebook snob, but I prefer Staples’ notebooks over most other brands.  The covers and spines just seem to hold up longer than other notebooks we’ve used in the past.

So, this week, I picked up several notebooks, folders, composition books, and pencil sharpeners.  In all, I bought 38 items and paid just $7.88 with tax!

Have you found any amazing back to school deals this week?



Here is this week’s Back to School Deals Round-Up.  The stores are in alphabetical order for easier reference:


Dollar General

2-Pocket Folders, 6/$1

iMagine Crayons (24 ct.), 3/$1

Elmer’s Mini School Glue Stick, 3/$1

Elmer’s Mini School Glue Bottle, 3/$1

Paper or Poly Index Dividers (5 ct.), $0.50

1-Inch View Binders, $2

Filler Paper, $0.75

iMagine Glue Sticks (3 ct.), $0.25

iMagine Large Glue Stick, $0.25

iMagine School Glue, $0.25

Composition Books, $0.50

iMagine Cap Erasers, $0.50

iMagine Pink Erasers (2 ct.), $0.50

Sharpie Ultra Fine Point (1 ct.), $0.50

Paper Mate InkJoy Pens (2 ct.), $0.50
$1/1 Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel Pen Pack, exp. 7/30/16 (SS 06/05/16)
FREE after coupon 

Paper Mate Write Bros. Pencils (4 ct.), $0.50

Westcott Kids’ Scissors, $1

iMagine Pencil Sharpener, $0.50

iMagine Ruler, $0.50

iMagine No. 2 Yellow Pencils (18 ct.), $0.50

Crayola Crayons (24 ct.), $0.50

Elmer’s School Glue, $0.50

Bic Round Stic Pens (10 ct.), $0.50

1-Subject Notebooks, 3/$1

Elmer’s Glue Sticks (3 ct.), $1

1-Inch Binder, $1

Select Backpacks, $3


Kroger (see all of this week’s deals here)

Top Flight 1-Subject Notebooks, $0.19

Oxford Twin Pocket Folders, $0.15

Ticonderoga No. 2 Pencils (24 ct.), $2.99

Elmer’s School Glue Sticks (7 ct.), $1.99

Backpacks, $9.99


Meijer (see all of this week’s deals here)

Meijer 2-Pocket Paper Folders, $0.17

Meijer 1-Subject Notebooks, $0.17

Crayola Crayons (24 ct.), $0.50

Elmer’s Washable School Glue, $0.50

Elmer’s Washable Glue Sticks (2 ct.), $0.50

Crayola Colored Pencils (12 ct.), $1

Fiskars 5″ Children’s Scissors, $1.49

Bic Mechanical Pencils (10 ct.), $1.59


Office Depot/Office Max

Office Depot Brand No. 2 Wood Pencils (12 ct.), $0.01 with $5 minimum purchase

Slider Pencil Box, $0.01 with $5 minimum purchase

Office Depot Brand Mini Stapler, $0.01 with $5 minimum purchase

Office Depot Brand Multipurpose Paper Ream, $6
Submit for $5.99 in Office Depot Rewards
$0.01 each after rewards 

Crayola Crayons (24 ct.), $0.25

Bic Brite Liner Highlighters (5 ct.), $0.25

Sharpie Single Permanent Markers, $0.25

Westcott 7″ Straight-Handle Student Scissors, $1

Paper Mate Profile Retractable Ballpoint Pens (4 ct.), $1

Office Depot Brand Notebook 3-Hole Punch, $1

Office Depot Brand 3″x5″ Rainbow Index Cards, $1

Post-It Super Sticky Die-Cut Notes (2 ct.), $1

Office Depot Brand Copy & Print Paper (3-Ream Case), $12
Submit for $10 in Office Depot Rewards
$2 each after rewards 

Texas Instruments TI-30 Scientific Calculator, $10.99



Staples Multi-Purpose Paper Ream – $7.99
Submit for $7.98 mail-in rebate
$0.01 after rebate (Sunday through Tuesday only)

Staples 1-Subject Notebook – $0.17

Westcott 12″ Wood Ruler – $0.25

Staples Cap Erasers (12 ct.) – $0.25

Staples Dual-Size Pencil Sharpener – $0.25

Staples 2-Pocket Report Covers – $0.50

Crayola Crayons (24 ct.)  – $0.50

Staples Filler Paper – $0.75

Staples Glue Sticks (4 ct.) – $1

Elmer’s School Glue – $1

Slider Pencil Case – $1

Translucent Pencil Box – $1

Kleenex Facial Tissues (4 ct.) – $4
$1 off Kleenex, exp. 7/30/16 (SS 07/10/16 R)
$3 each after coupon 

Elmer’s Glue Sticks (8 ct.) – $4

Bic Round Stic Ballpoint Pens (60 ct.) – $4

Basic Calculators – $5

Lexar 8GB Jump Drive (4 ct.) – $14


Walgreens (see all of this week’s deals here)

Wexford Pencils, 2/$1

Wexford Scissors, 2/$1

Wexford Notebooks, 2/$1

Backpacks, 30% Off

Select Folders, Portfolios, or Highlighters, 6/$1

Mead Notebooks, Pencil Pouches, Binders, Planners, Expanding File, or Portfolios, B1G1 Free