Inside 2021’s Back-to-School Tax-Free Shopping Weekend

Back-to-school shopping is in full force, and in a few states, you’ll be able to save a considerable amount of money on essentials this year due to the beautiful 2021 Sales Tax Holiday! Usually taking place over a weekend, tax-free, back-to-school shopping exists in 15 states this year, and we’re here to give you the rundown on when and where you can get the most bang for your buck.


In-Store Back-to-School Shopping by State

First off, the back-to-school tax holiday is not a federally recognized custom and can only be found in 15 states. Items that qualify for tax exemption range from computers to school supplies, purses, clothing, and even bedding (who doesn’t love a snazzy dorm?). Unfortunately, some dates have already passed, but August 6 – 8 is a standard weekend that is quickly approaching. Check if your state qualifies and if you still have time to stock up for the new school year.



July 16-12, 2021

Clothing, Coats, and Shoes ($100 or less), Computers ($750 or less), School Supplies ($50 or less per item), Books ($30 or less per book)


August 7-8, 2021

Clothing: Including Coats, Shoes and Costumes (Less than $100 per item), Accessories: Including purses, Jewelry (Less than $50), School Supplies (Based on Supply lists), Reference Books and Textbooks


August 15-21, 2021

All Clothing and Footwear under $100 per item. Athletic Uniforms and Gear Excluded.


July 31 - Aug 9, 2021

Clothing, Shoes, Backpacks, Coats, Costumes, Uniforms and Cleats (Up to $60 per item), School Supplies (Up to $15 per item), Computers (Up to $1,000)


August 6-7, 2021

Clothing, School Uniforms, Coats, Shoes (Up to $100 per item), Excludes Backpacks, Book Bags, Handbags, Cleats, & Athletic Uniforms


August 8-14, 2021

Clothing, Shoes, Coats, School Uniforms (Up to $100 per item), Backpacks (Includes up to first $40)


July 30-31, 2021

Clothing, Shoes, Coats, and Uniforms (Up to $100 per item), Excludes Backpacks


August 7-9, 2021

Clothing, Shoes, Coats, School Uniforms (Up to $100 per item), School Supplies including Backpacks (Up to $50 per purchase), Computers (Up to $1500), Graphing Calculators (Up to $150)

New Mexico

August 6-8, 2021

Clothing and Shoes, School and Work Uniforms (Less than $100 per item), School Supplies (Less than $30 per item) Calculators (Less than $200 per item), Backpacks (Less than $100 per item), Computers (Less than $1,000)


August 6-8, 2021

Clothing and Shoes (Less than $75 per item), School Supplies (Less than $20 per Item), Instructional Materials (Less than $20 per item)


August 6-8 2021

Clothing and Shoes (Less than $100 per item), Excludes Accessories, Athletic Footwear & Protective Gear

South Carolina

August 6-8, 2021

Clothing, Shoes, Hats, Costumes, Swimwear, Skates, Dance and Athletic Shoes, School Supplies, Backpacks, Printer Supplies, Computers, Printers, Software, Sheets, Bedding, Pillows, Blankets, Towels.


July 30 - August 1, 2021

Clothing, Shoes, Coats, School Uniforms, & Hats ($100 or less), School Supplies & Backpacks ($100 or less), Computers and Tablets ($1500 or less)


August 6-8, 2021

Clothing, Footwear, Backpacks, Uniforms, Coats, & Swimwear (Up to $100 per item), School Supplies including lunchboxes and calculators (Up to $100 per item)


August 6-8, 2021

Clothing, Shoes, Rain Gear, School Uniforms, & Costumes ($100 or less per item), Excludes Sports Equipment, Protective Gear, and Jewelry



Online, Tax-Free Options

Don’t see your state on the list? Don’t worry! Many online eCommerce businesses follow suit and honor these tax-free holidays to support back-to-school shopping for families and students living outside the participating states. According to the Miami Herald,


“Yes, you can buy online and enjoy the savings on qualifying items so long as the order is accepted by the company you’re ordering from during the sales-tax holiday period for immediate shipment. Delivery can be made after the sales-tax holiday period without affecting your sales tax break.”


Even with taxes and all, you can usually find basic supplies and school necessities online for considerably less money anyways. Do your research before your tax-free dates arrive and be ready to buy up in one big (cost-effective!) shopping spree.


Sustainable Shopping

It’s great to save a buck here and there, but you can’t go wrong exploring used, recycled, upcycled, and DIY products and solutions for your back-to-school needs. Check out our previous blog, 5 Green Back-to-School Shopping Tips, for great ways to take on an eco-friendly approach to back-to-school prep.


The time is now! Check your state rules and dates, and take advantage of the Tax-Free Holiday this year for the 2021 school year! What’s your favorite way to save when it comes to back-to-school shopping? Share your tricks and tips by tagging us @bugbitething on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

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