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How a DSM Mom of 3 Conquers Back-to-School Shopping

Tax-Free Shopping Tips

August 6, 2020

It’s back-to-school season! For many, that means new fall clothes and picking out school supplies. As a mom of three young boys, I am looking forward to this annual tradition as it’s a return to some form of normalcy during an uncertain time. While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way back-to-school shopping might look this year, what it hasn’t done is stopped me from considering the best way to save money on supplies while also making a difference to our local Greater Des Moines (DSM) shops.

Back-to-School Shopping Tips

Check Store Hours

Before you head out to your favorite DSM businesses, double check their hours. Many stores have updated or limited hours due to COVID-19. It’s also good to consider shopping during low traffic times. Peak shopping times will mean encountering more people. If you do venture out during busier times, wear a face mask, bring along some extra hand sanitizer and don’t forget to stay at least six feet away from other shoppers.

Save Big During Tax-Free Weekend

Another reason to get out and back-to-school shop is that there’s no time to lose. This weekend, you can shop tax-free from 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 7 until Midnight on Saturday, August 8. Sales tax is not collected on clothing or footwear with a selling price of less than $100, which means you can buy as many superhero shirts and playground kicks as you can fit in your cart!

Consider Shopping Online

If you’re not comfortable venturing out, or you want to limit the number of stores you buy from in person, shop online from the comfort of your couch. You can measure the kiddos for sizing with ease and save on shipping when you buy online and utilize curbside pickup and no-contact delivery options.

Support DSM Business Owners

As the pandemic rolls on, local retailers need our support to stay in business. While it might be convenient and easy to fill an online cart with a large e-commerce retailer, check with local shops first. There are many options to choose from!

Don’t Forget the Basics

This year, the basics might look a little different. I know I’ll be picking up extra hand sanitizer and face masks. If you’re heading back to the classroom, you might consider purchasing extra soap, tissues and masks for teachers to have on hand. If your kids are tackling remote learning, you might need to think about comfortable chairs for at-home workspaces or earphones and other tech so students can concentrate easily and do their best work.

You can learn more about recommendations for education during COVID-19 from the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s DSM Forward initiative here, including guidance from the CDC and an FAQ for parents and families about continuous learning.

Named the #5 Best Place to Live in the U.S. and a Top 10 Best Place for Business and Careers, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a city where you can have it all. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Courtney Shaw

Courtney Shaw is senior vice president of communications for the Greater Des Moines Partnership.