It’s the first week of August and you know what that means… summer is almost over. Womp, womp!

On the bright side, this is the perfect time to put your detective hat on to hunt for savings ahead of the school year. Here are three simple ways to get your money’s worth while shopping this fall:

(Make sure to read this entire post because I have an extra special savings tip and Goodie for you at the end. One you’re not going to want to miss! *cough* cash giveaway *cough)

1. Take Advantage of State Tax Holidays

If you’re not familiar with tax holidays, it’s a weekend where some states give you a sales tax break on certain items usually clothes, shoes, or school supplies.

Not all states participate, but if you’re lucky enough to live in a state that does, stock up on items you need and enjoy major tax savings. Woot, woot! Click here for a full list of the 2016 tax free weekends.

2. Use a Student ID for Savings

A student ID could be your ticket to major savings this fall especially on pricey electronic items. 

Apple, Best Buy, Sony, and Microsoft all have student discounts on certain products! All you need to do is present your ID, prove that whoever buys the products is in fact a student, and follow discount procedure. 

Don’t forget to bring your ID while shopping at other stores too just in case there’s a discount. 

(If you have a military ID, don’t be shy with that card either. You know the drill!)

3. Sign Up for Rakuten and Get the Rakuten Button

Earning cash back for spending through Rakuten is one of my favorite ways to save on all types of products y’all.

With Rakuten, you can get FREE cash back (up to 40%) when you shop with participating merchants online like Kohls, Office Depot, and much much more.

I’ve used Rakuten for travel and Amazon. It pays off, my friend.

I know you want in on this cash back opportunity, so here’s how it works.

Step 1: Sign-up for a free Rakuten account here. Make sure to use this specific link to be eligible for the cash giveaway, Goodie below. : https://www.rakuten.com/thebudgetnista.

Step 2: Click the green JOIN NOW button at the very top of the page. Next, you’ll see a sign-up screen that looks like this:

Rakuten welcome page with The Budgetnista.

Step 3: After you’re all signed up, download the Rakuten button for your browser. This is an important step.

Whenever you’re online, this button extension will show you every time a website you’re on offers cash back with Rakuten.

Bottom line: This button is the business. 

Activating this button means you’ll never miss out on an Rakuten deal.

Don’t forget to tell your family, girlfriends, aunts, uncles, sistas, and cousins about the cash back at Rakuten.



My Lisa Rule: I have 4 sisters and Lisa is the baby (we’ll she’s not a baby anymore). Of all of my sisters, I’m the most protective over her. Before I share any product or service with you, it must pass my Lisa Rule.

What’s the Lisa Rule? If I would not advise Lisa to use a product or service, I won’t advise you to. YOU are my Lisa. I feel protective over you and your financial journey.

Rakuten passes my Lisa Rule. Yes, I am an affiliate of Rakuten, and I earn a commission off of referrals, but I would not recommend a product or service that I didn’t believe was helpful and useful.

The Budgetnista’s $300 Visa Gift Cards Giveaway

About the Author Tiffany Aliche

Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, is an award-winning teacher of financial education, America’s favorite, personal financial educator, and author of the New York Times Bestselling book, Get Good with Money. The Budgetnista is also an Amazon #1 bestselling author of The One Week Budget and the Live Richer Challenge series and most recently, a children's book, Happy Birthday Mali More.

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  1. I was just complaining about how difficult it’s been going from website to website trying to find the best prices for all of the school supplies I have to purchase. My son’s elementary school partners with a supply company and I always order a school supply pack through them. I completely missed the deadline this year so I’m stuck buying everything separately!

  2. Always great tips from the Budgetnista! I don’t have any children but I will definitely share this new knowledge with family and friends.

  3. I’m so happy I was led to the Budgetnista! It’s truly a blessing and I cannot wait to learn more!

  4. These are great tips as I have been stressing out over buying school supplies because they can be so expensive, especially for two elementary schooler. Thanks Tiffany!

  5. Office Depot has a few things for a penny, if they don’t have the product, take a sales paper. Take the sales paper to Walmart yo price match. This is for school supplies.

  6. Great tips. I wish some of these were available when I was going to school. Love the cash back from Ebates I get. I’ve already saved $64 and change through them.

  7. Great information! Also, I reside in Florida. If you are under 50, and shop at a Bealls Outlet this Friday, and sign up for their FREE rewards card, you’ll get 15% off your entire purchase AND it’s on the tax free weekend! I just wanted to share that to help save money during this tax free weekend. If you have a Bealls Outlet or Burke’s Outlet near you (TX, FL, NC and other states) check for your savings! They have school uniforms- which is exactly what I need!

  8. I signed up for Ebates years ago but really wasn’t into online shopping. I recently start using again since joining DC.

  9. Thanks for thus information on Ebates
    I didn’t even know ow it exists until today. I feel like I just got a legal hook up?

  10. I am fortunate that my oldest attends home public school so that I don’t have to buy school clothes and a lot of other supplies but I do like Ebates for other online shopping. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Firstly, love the Budgetnista!!!! I love ebates too!! I have been using it to look for ways to save money on everything!!!

  12. This is some awesome information! I do BTS donations and last year dropped almost a grand. Hopefully I can bless some kids again on a discount.

  13. Thank you for sharing this information. I will make sure to pass it along to my friends who have children returning to store this year.

  14. I’ve been following these steps for saving on school supplies and other items as well. Especially Ebates: I’ve received a few “BIG FAT CHECKS”. Great Post Budgetnista!

  15. Thank you so much for the information about ebates. I’m shuttering at the thought of money I have missed when I’ve shopped onilne. Thank You again…looking forward to SAVINGS!!!!!

  16. I am big on saving money. I use Ebates, Retailmenot, My target red card with printable coupons, and I ALWAYS inquire if a store gives military discounts.

  17. Praying my state will be on the tax free weekend list so I can happy dance. Clearance is my boyfriend and Savings is his last name…whoop!

  18. I’m doing it now…and kicking myself because I just got stuff from Amazon and didn’t do it thru ebates. I need that button NOW!!

  19. Thank you for sharing! In addition to the savings listed , I also utilize my military discount where applicable.

  20. This is great information to know. I’ve seen how shopping for items I need through ebates really does give me a boost of savings.

  21. Ebates is a great way to save money! It’s my go to app to save money at stores I frequent. Thanks for valuable information.

  22. I joined Ebates two weeks ago and I have earned $21.58 since I had to do school shopping and back to work/school shopping for myself as a teacher!!! Thank you!!

  23. As a veteran, married to an active duty service member, mother of three children and a public servant, I always appreciate a good tip on saving money! Thanks Budgetnista!

  24. I signed up with Ebates a long time ago but never used it. I will now use it seeing how I can save even more money!! Thanks so much for the information and motivation!!!!

  25. I signed up a long time ago, but never remember to use it…I’m going to start…especially since most of my shopping is online!

  26. Ebates is awesome, have used for some time. However I never thought or new about the student ID, I’ve had my friend use his military ID if he was with us but never thought to ask about a student, so thanks. My college girls are going to love this info as well.

  27. I received my first check from ebates last week!!! I was shocked when it came… I’m in heaven now!!! Shopping guilt free!!

  28. This is great! Ebates is awesome. I will also have to be more savvy with my student ID usage. Thanks!

  29. I’ve been an ebates member for years but only started using it this year because of The Budgetnista! Love it and her!

  30. I have fallen in love with Ebates!! They’re awesome, I never knew that you can save so much money just by buying things that you need or even just wanted. I have even recommended others to join ebates and for all the skeptical people, I add what you have to lose to just try it? Nothing.

  31. Oh Wow… I didn’t realize there was an “Ebates button”. Definitely downloading. Too many times have I made purchases online and forgot to check Ebates. Now I won’t miss out on any savings. Thanks Budgetnista!!!

  32. I ? The Budgetnista!! I share everything with my friends and family and showed my first BIG FAT CHECK from eBates ($1.20) to show how real your influence is. We’ve known about eBates since forever but never joined until someone we trusted (although we’ve never met–think Oprah) recommended it. I appreciate you!

  33. Did i win yet?! Lol this has been the most beneficial group I’ve ever been a part of! Let’s go shopping

  34. Thank you for the advice, any way I can save I want to know alllllll about it!!!! I never knew some states did the tax break that’s awesome!!!

  35. I have lost almost all of my motivation since I joined this group 6 months ago. Sure hope I can get it back so that I can get back on track. So many goals to achieve.

  36. Thanks for the tips! I signed up for Ebates a few months ago after a recommendation from you. Love getting cash back…

  37. I start my last fall semester in college at end of this month! This is very helpful for my going back to school shopping. Thank You So Much !

  38. Ebates also has a shop in-store option too. You just have to link the credit/debit card you used and you receive cash back that way as well!

  39. I’ve been an eBates member for a while but I keep forgetting about using it to my advantage. I have to do better!!!

  40. Tiffany The Bugetnista just changed the game. Get sum$$ I used Ebates once for a car rental. #winning. Now I can use a discount to purchase my school books.

  41. I am always using Ebates and I am so excited that you get cash back in stores now. Looking forward to this school shopping this year! I already started, but thanks for Tax Free Week reminder. I can hold off and only shop online until that week.

  42. I use ebates to shop for my 4 boys. Living Richer And Saving Better for a Single Mother of 4 children. Continued blessings on you all

  43. Thank you for sharing such powerful information with the women of this group. You’re such an inspiration

  44. My life seriously has changed in the months that I’ve been a dreamcatcher. Thank you so much for your valuable information and for creating such a knowledgeable and supportive group

  45. This is great! I am learning so much to help myself, my family and friends. Paying bills on time and now attacking savings!

  46. I signed up with Ebates awhile ago and I love it; thanks to the Budgetnista!! I recently received a $35.00 check in the mail…and it was so simple!! Thank you Tiffany for the great advice on how to earn extra money!

  47. Thank you so much for always giving sound advice. I signed up for Ebates awhile ago but never really used it. Now I definitely will use them every chance I get and for the first time a few days ago I purchased some items through them! YAY!!

  48. Thank you Tiffany and Ebates for all the great savingd tips. Can wait to continue my journey to financial freedom!!!

  49. Ebates is so awesome. I use it for work sometimes and I get the cash back so I love that! I don’t usually do BTS shopping but when I do I get excited when I get the one cent sales…I am always down to use coupons and buy in bulk!

  50. Thank you for the post! I didn’t even know there was such things as state tax holidays. Good call on eBates – I never make a purchase online without it!

  51. Ebates is my favorite app!! Before I buy anything I check and see if it is connected with ebates!!!!!

  52. I’m learning so much. I wish this had been around when I was younger. My life would have been so different!

  53. Wow, thanks for the tax free reference. Ebates seems to be a hit, I had never heard of it until today but, I am looking forward to happy shopping.

  54. Thanks for all the great information. I have shared these things with family and friends and we all agree that we def need this!!!

  55. With your help I’ve made progress with monthly savings and managing my finances. Thanks for sharing the contest! Love Ebates! #savewithebates

  56. I love the advise, many people don’t realize that you don’t need to spend hundreds and hundreds in school supplies and school for the kids to go back to school. I will definitely be using ebates! Thank you

  57. This post is great! I downloaded ebates on my phone and get emails, but rarely use it. Will definitely use it now!

  58. You’re always giving us the goodies…I’m in my twenties and I cling to every word you type. I want to be the start of a better generation, starting with my financials. TY!

  59. I have Ebates although I have not used it yet. I can see this coming in handy during Christmas! No tax free days in my state though.