Money Minutes | General Electric Credit Union Blog | Financial Resources

Back-to-School Shopping on a Budget

Jul 22, 2021 | 3 minute read


It's time for back-to-school shopping! Whether you're preparing your little one or yourself for class, there are a few things you can do to stay on budget. 

5 Tips for Affordable Back-to-School Shopping

1. Take Advantage of Tax-Free Holidays

During a tax-free holiday, you can purchase qualifying items with no sales tax included in the transaction. This year’s Tax-Free Weekend in Ohio is August 6th through August 8th. Shop in categories like clothes, school supplies, and instructional materials to get your kids (or yourself!) ready for the school year.

Exemptions apply, so be sure to review our Tax-Free Weekend FAQ list to know what to expect!

2. Get Thrifty

The Cincinnati area has a wealth of thrift stores with gently used clothing and bags perfect for back to school! Explore the racks for unique pieces and save on your shopping list. Kids will have fun picking through options from different decades (including styles from today!).

3. Watch Your Favorite Stores

Follow your favorite stores on social media or download their app so you know when back to school deals are hitting their sales floor. Being the first to know gives you better access to options from a range of price points. Plus, you might be able to avoid the stampede of last-minute shoppers (if you plan to go in person).

4. Look Through Your Closets

Before you shop, look around your house to see what items you already have. You may discover writing materials, binders, and notebooks hidden away in random pockets of your home that can be used for future studies.

6. Utilize Free Resources

The Cincinnati Public Library has a variety of resources to use throughout the school year, including:

  • Free meals. The Library partnered with UMC Food Ministry to provide youth meal boxes at select library locations. Boxes are available Mondays from 3 – 5 pm while supplies last.
  • Homework help. Could your teen use some help with homework? Take them to select library locations for free, one-on-one homework help in subjects like reading, math, and more!
  • Laptop kiosks. Don’t have a laptop? No problem, select library locations have a Library Kiosk where members can check out and return laptops. Borrow one at a time for up to two hours for use in the library.

One of General Electric Credit Union’s (GECU) 2021 Giveback Partners is another amazing resource for area families. Operation Give Back (OGB), located in Blue Ash, provides school supplies to over 540 children each fall. Check out this fantastic organization to see how they can assist your family during back-to-school time.

Mark your calendar: OGB has a school supply giveaway August 7th and August 21st! Pre-registration is required.

You don’t have to drop a pretty penny on back-to-school items. Use the tips above to prepare either yourself or your kids for an awesome year of learning! You can also start saving for next year’s list with Round-Up.1 This GECU savings program rounds your purchases up to the nearest dollar and deposits the extra change into a designated GECU account. Let your savings account grow with ease and access the funds later.



1Round-Up is only available for Simply Free, Choice, and Amplified High-Yield Checking accounts. Funds will be added to member’s chosen GECU savings or money market account; excluding Certificates, IRAs, or IRA Money Market accounts. Match will be paid on eligible funds at the end of the month with an annual match limit up to $350; reportable on IRS Form 1099.


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