The Coupon Lady: What's on sale in August

Many school-supply items are tax free this weekend.

Tax-free weekends are coming. In South Carolina, shop Friday through midnight Sunday, Aug. 2-4, to purchase goods without having to pay the sales tax. Next weekend, Aug. 9-10, Georgia has its sales tax holiday.


The South Carolina sales-tax holiday covers items such as footwear, clothing, accessories, school supplies, computers and computer accessories.

If you plan on traveling for your shopping trip, just make sure you don’t eat up your savings in gas costs. Many local stores are offering deeply discounted items that will allow you to save money without traveling out of the area, so keep looking in those sales fliers for deals.

This month, sales will revolve around a back-to-school theme. Look for sales on lunch items such as sandwich meats, pudding cups, prepackaged ready-to-eat meals, waffles, cereal and bread.

You will also find specials on classroom supply items including tissue, hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes and paper towels. Cleaning supplies such as Clorox and other disinfectants also will be on sale.

Retailers have been offering sales on student needs for nearly a month now. Recently, Toys R Us had a sale that offered a free lunch box when you buy a backpack for $12.99 or more. I was able to redeem a gift card from a previous purchase and scored two backpacks and lunch boxes for my two elementary pupils for less than $20. I’ve also spotted deals on paper, pencils, pens, crayons, markers, glue, scissors, notebooks and folders.

If you are not a frequent shopper of office supply stores, now is a great time to consider trying them out. They usually have a great selection and plenty of stock. Teachers, please don’t forget to sign up for teacher rewards programs and start earning those deals and rebates. Several supply stores and bookstores have special teacher appreciation days with extra discounts just for you. Some office supply stores and local bookstores will also allow homeschool parents to participate in a teacher’s discount, so ask your local store for details.

Do not ignore drugstore ads this month. Each drugstore will have a few great deals each week on school supplies. If you don’t need the item, they make great donation items for church or community drives.

Summer items have started being put on clearance. Look for deals on summer clothing, beach towels, grills and accessories, beach and pool equipment, patio furniture, sunscreen and insect repellent. I saw a large selection of markdowns at Walmart last week, including patio furniture, gardening supplies, toys, shoes, clothes and room décor. At Target, I saw a large selection of toys, shoes, party supplies and personal care items.

According to All You magazine, August is the best month to buy fall clothing, school supplies, air conditioners, lawn mowers and yard equipment. Computers are on sale this month, but deeper discounts could be found in June and will be coming up on Black Friday. Linens and bedding are on sale this month as a part of “off to college” savings. August is Children’s Vision and Cataract Awareness month, so shoppers should look for savings on children’s glasses, contacts and accessories.

August is also considered the best month to buy camping equipment, because camping is traditionally done in the spring and summer and stock needs to be thinned down to make way for other merchandise. However, the warm temperatures are still going strong, so it isn’t too late to plan a fun Labor Day camping adventure. Some camping equipment can double as tailgating equipment, so if you need supplies for the upcoming football season, you might want to check out your local stores.

Vegetables in season this month include corn, okra, onions, tomatillos, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, green beans, summer squash and avocados. Fruits in season this month include apples, berries, figs, grapes, peaches, pears, melons and plums. These should have the best sales this month. Fresh fish is also at peak season. To save money, plan your meals to feature these items.


Contact Carol Gunter at (706) 823-3318 or


Shopgirl: Facebook competing with eBay, Craigslist

Facebook is trying to get into the eBay/Craigslist selling game, with a new feature called Marketplace. It works off of your... Read more

Shopgirl: Google might have answer for carpool app

An anonymous source within Google told the Wall Street Journal last week that Google will be releasing... Read more

Shopgirl: iPhone rumors

It’s fun to read iPhone rumors and imagine what the magic makers at Apple could have for us next – and the latest... Read more

Shopgirl: App zaps need for mosquito repellant

OK, this is pretty cool: we’ve all woken up with legs full of mosquito bites and sworn never to go outside again, but with this new app Anti... Read more